HOMEOWNERS in York and Selby are being asked to open their doors to older people and those seeking some extra support this winter to help relieve pressure on the NHS.

North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council have set up a scheme with Cambridge-based company CareRooms.com where potential hosts will be vetted, interviewed and DBS checked, and once approved will be paid £50 per night for the room, for stays of, on average 3-5 nights.

The scheme is aimed at anyone with a spare room and time to give an extra hand as well as a cup of tea and a chat and those needing support will have ‘minimal care needs’ and need looking after before moving back into their own home after surgery or a fall.

Hannah Wilcockson, manager CareRooms.comin Selby and York said: “Bed shortages in hospitals in the aftermath of the pandemic, means resources are being stretched. Our Hosts can really help their communities by offering a different sort of support than traditionally available.

“Many people lose confidence after being ill, especially if they have no support at home. Going back alone can be a really frightening prospect. But a short stay with a host in their community can give them the boost they need to begin living more independently again and help their recovery.

“For others they may need respite from looking after a partner with health needs. They don’t want or need to go into a care home, they just want a change of scene, somewhere friendly and inviting, where they can recharge their batteries.

“The majority of the individuals in need of the service have very minimal needs, however for those needing some element of personal care, they can have this provided by CareRooms.com or our local partner.”

Ms Wilcockson said the latest tele-care and monitoring equipment is fitted in the room to ensure guests vital signs are checked constantly and there is 24-hour a day video access to a GP service.

Hannah, who lives in Brayton, said: “The pandemic has highlighted how much our communities care and becoming a host is an extension of that. I’ve always worked in the care sector and having been assistant manager of a care home in Selby, I know how important initiatives like this are in helping to both reduce social isolation and re-admittance to hospital.”

Lizzie Gaudin, CareRooms.com Chief Operations Officer said: “We work closely with NHS discharge managers, doctors and nurses. Our aim is to create communities that care, and we are delighted to be partnering with North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council.

‘But it is the people of Selby and York who will make this a success.”

North Yorkshire County Councillor Michael Harrison, executive member for health integration, said: “There has always been a need to provide short-term support outside of hospital, and the Care Rooms pilot is an innovative idea to provide that support outside of a formal care setting. I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot and would encourage those who think they can help to get in touch.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, executive member for adult social care at City of York Council said: “We want to support people to live independent lives, and this offer of temporary support, with checked and trained hosts will help do just that.

“CareRooms will complement other supportive innovations in the city, and gives our kind-hearted residents another opportunity to help people in need in their communities.”

To take part contact support@carerooms.com or call 03331212227 .