On a similar but slightly different aspect to the problem, today we have this from the Dept. of Silly Ideas.
NHS may rent spare rooms to ease bed crisis
Patients recovering from surgery could be discharged from hospital to recuperate in private houses nearby as part of an NHS trial that could earn those renting out the rooms up to £1,000 a month.
The scheme, which is being piloted in Essex, aims to tackle bed shortages and save money but has been criticised by medical professionals and social workers who warn it would give too much responsibility to untrained members of the public.
...Hosts would be asked to welcome patients recovering minor procedures, cook three microwave meals a day and offer conversation, according to CareRooms, in a scheme targeting people who do not have a family able to care for them.
Note 'The people who do not have a family to care for them.' Obviously this group will consist of mainly elderly and infirm patients, many of whom may develop further health problems. We all know how anxious hospitals are to discharge patients and there are going to be all sorts of problems with this I think. CRB checks, can we be sure of the character of any 'carers ' who join the scheme? Could patients be exploited by those 'caring ' for them. Would you trust a complete stranger to look after your elderly parent if you were unable to do it?
I can see the need to stop bed blocking but surely the answer lies in the old system of convalescent homes where trained staff look after patients as they recover.