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This U.K. Startup Wants to Be the New Airbnb of Hospitals -- But People Aren't Having It

Would you stay in a stranger's home to recover and trust them to take care of you?


As the saying goes, “There’s no place like home.” And after you’ve been sick or hurt, the most comfortable place to recover is most likely in the comfort of your own home. But one British startup sees a business opportunity with the hopes that someone else's home will be fine too.


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CareRooms has launched an Airbnb-style program that offers homeowners £1,000 a month to host hospital patients in the spare rooms of their homes. In an effort to open up more hospital beds, CareRooms would connect these homeowners with patients who have undergone minor procedures and either live alone or have no family members to help them in their recovery. The company says its model is comparable to Airbnb, and if it plan actually panned out, hosts would go through a security and interview process but would not be required to have any previous care experience.

Related: 11 Weird and Wonderful Airbnb Listings, Including a New York Taxi and an Igloo

Of course, considering all of the Airbnb horror stories we hear today and the fact that these are sick or recovering patients, there’s been much speculation and backlash over the idea. One major medical center, the Southend Hospital in Essex, is not having it. Tom Abell, the hospital’s deputy chief executive, said, "We will never compromise the safety and quality of care for patients and we will not support this pilot until the necessary safeguarding and quality arrangements are in place and there has been full engagement and discussion with our local communities on the proposal." Others, including politicians, doctors and health groups call the idea “ridiculous.”

Rose Leadem

Written By

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for