Medical staff book hundreds of nights at hotel offering free stay and meals

Medical staff have booked hundreds of nights at a hotel offering them free rooms and meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten Place Hill Hotel in Edinburgh said since it launched the initiative on Friday more than 232 room nights have been booked to accommodate guests over the coming weeks.

The hotel, owned by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and operated by Surgeons Quarter, is less than a mile from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and three miles from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

It is urging more workers to make use of its 129 bedrooms and is now including a free evening meal as well as a continental packed breakfast.

RCSEd president Professor Michael Griffin praised the initiative.

He said: “Covid-19 is unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes – and I know the strain it is putting across all aspects of our wonderful health service.

“The team at Ten Hill Place are giving tired workers vital respite to allow them to focus on caring for the country.

“The decision … supported very strongly by myself and our team, to open the hotel up to healthcare workers who are finding it difficult to get in on public transport, was a brave but generous one.”

He added: “We are helping them to help us, our families and our friends as they fall ill from any condition, not just COVID-19.

“We simply can’t put a value on this. The work Surgeons Quarter has been doing is truly outstanding and admirable – everyone at the college is extremely proud.”

The RCSEd said it also has engaged with the chief medical officer to say it would be willing to temporarily convert the hotel, should hospitals overflow.

Scott Mitchell, managing director at Surgeons Quarter, said: “This is a really challenging time for everyone in the world.

“We are happy to be able to play a small part in helping to make the lives of our heroic medical and clinical workforce at the front-line of Scotland’s response to Covid-19 that little bit easier.

“We have been taken aback by the positive response to opening the hotel to NHS staff and the wider medical and clinical workforce and want to encourage those who are able to take advantage of our city centre location to get in touch.”

Surgeons Quarter has also pledged to pay all 76 salaried and contracted staff over at least the next three months, while adding discretionary sick pay at full levels.

Ten Hill Place said it has 129 hotel rooms that are available to a variety of key workers carrying a valid hospital photographic identity card or similar.