New Nightingale hospital could be 'fantastic opportunity' for Harrogate guest houses to open doors to key workers

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As Harrogate Convention Centre has now been confirmed as one of the Nightingale hospitals set up to fight the coronavirus outbreak, NHS staff from across the county are now expected to arrive in the town to lend a helping hand.

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The hospital will serve the Yorkshire and Humber region and staff will be brought in from hospitals across the region to work on an operational basis.

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With almost all guest houses and hotels forced to close their doors during the coronavirus crisis, this could now give them an opportunity to re-open... as well as do their bit in the fight to beat Covid-19.

Ali and Phil Standen at Acorn Lodge.Ali and Phil Standen at Acorn Lodge.
Ali and Phil Standen at Acorn Lodge. | jpimedia

Ali Standen, deputy chair of Accommodation Harrogate, the association for independent guest houses in Harrogate, and who runs Acorn Lodge guest house with her husband Phil, said the town’s hoteliers and B&Bs are poised and ready to step up and help whenever necessary.

She said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for some of the guest houses. Many are offering rooms for the staff that will hopefully be brought in. As a group we are discussing ways to keep ourselves and the potential new guests safe by offering a self serve breakfast or room only."

This is Harrogate Convention Centre's message to NHS Nightingale heroes as emergency hospital starts to take shape

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One of the members of association also has a restaurant, Papa's Mediterranean, and one of the options they are looking at is creating meals which staff can heat up after a long shift to ensure they are well catered for.

She added: "We will be offering significantly reduced rates but intend to look after these key workers with the same level of friendliness and hospitality we are known for.

"It would be helpful if we could locate a key person who allocates rooms for NHS and other staff rather than putting our rooms with the online agents, both to save commission for us and to have some control over who requires the rooms.

"We will be following the Government guidelines on cleanliness, health and safety during these stays to keep ourselves and other safe.

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"It is fantastic news for the town to be offered the opportunity to be a massive help in this crisis and the independent guest houses are keen to play their part in any way they safely can."

The White Hart hotel has also said it will be helping to accommodate key workers.

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