Waikato Hospital's new Medihotel has welcomed its first post-procedural patient needing clinically supported accommodation the night before discharge.
After suffering a stroke in early December, 84-year-old Rex Tollemache has spent a month undergoing stroke rehabilitation in Ward 55. Now ready to leave hospital, he is experiencing some temporary housing difficulty and needed a home for the night.
"For many years I have lived 20km out of Huntly, but I'm finally selling my home. The house that I was going to move into is not quite ready, so I was left in the lurch with nowhere to go," he says.
"The Medihotel service has suited my needs perfectly; I have a place to stay before getting my final blood test tomorrow. It has saved me finding somewhere else during this transition period."
The Medihotel, in Waikato Hospital's Hilda Ross House, is a six-month pilot project providing accommodation and hotel services for patients accessing elective/arranged health care or who are stable but require an overnight stay for a final medical check prior to or following discharge.
During the pilot, the Medihotel will provide accommodation for up to 10 patients although there is capacity for 24 beds. There is a mix of single and two-bedded rooms, a communal lounge area with TV, and a small kitchen and dining area.
Rex speaks highly of the Medihotel's facilities.
"For a while I have had meals prepared and delivered. Tomorrow morning I will use the kitchen facilities to organise my own breakfast, like I would at home. I can also wander around enjoying a little more space and freedom than what a ward can realistically provide," he says.
The Medihotel pilot is based on a concept that is now an established component of the care process in a number of large Australian hospitals.