Best Western hotels could be converted into temporary hospitals if the NHS becomes overloaded during the coronavirus crisis.
As the UK braces itself to withstand the Covid-19 pandemic, and new figures reported by The Guardian suggest almost eight million people could be hospitalised at its peak, Best Western has said it could step in to help.
The hotel group has said it will discuss turning its properties into makeshift hospitals with its members this week.
“We are in unprecedented territory so we would be willing to take unprecedented steps to support the national effort,” said Rob Paterson, chief executive of Best Western Great Britain.
“If the NHS wants additional bedspace, and we can partner with other companies to provide the right medical equipment and supplies and we can do it safely, then we would be willing to start having those conversations immediately. Whatever we can do to help.”
Prime minister Boris Johnson has reportedly also asked engineering firms to start building NHS ventilators.
Paterson said Best Western was seeing year-on-year growth in January and February before the coronavirus crisis hit.
However, it has seen a surge in cancellations between February and 7 March.