Calls for more children’s healthcare in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 12:55 28 June 2014

Chief  executive Nick Wood outside Weston General Hospital.

Chief executive Nick Wood outside Weston General Hospital.

Archant

THE man who runs Weston General Hospital believes children’s healthcare needs to be reviewed in North Somerset because driving ill youngsters to Bristol is too far.

Nick Wood, chief executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT), speaking as a father of young children, believes more services should be available to parents locally.

WAHT runs the Seashore Centre at its Grange Road site but it is relatively small and is only open weekdays from 9am-8pm, meaning the vast majority of GP referrals, especially emergencies, go to Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Mr Wood, addressing Weston’s Civic Society on June 19, said he would like to see more on offer locally.

He said: “From a personal point of view, there is a need to review children’s services across North Somerset.

“I have young kids and I don’t think it is appropriate to take them 27 miles in a car [to a hospital in Bristol].

“That is a very personal view and I think we need a review.

“There is a national crisis in paediatric medicine. The number of children needing autistic assessments and other similar care is astronomical.”

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is currently gauging public opinion on the current provision of children’s healthcare.

Its job is to evaluate what services are required and has launched a public survey looking at everything from paediatrics to mental health provision for youngsters.

To grab a copy of the questionnaire, visit www.northsomersetccg.nhs.uk/get-involved

Alternatively, there will be a public discussion held at the Winter Gardens in Weston next month.

It will take place on July 15 from 10am-12.30pm.

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