Hospital decision is a ‘victory for common sense’

PUBLISHED: 07:35 17 June 2014

Richard Lawson and STeve Timmins, campaigned againt privatisation of  Weston General Hospital.

Richard Lawson and STeve Timmins, campaigned againt privatisation of Weston General Hospital.

Archant

COMMON sense has prevailed, according to delighted campaigners who begged Weston General Hospital to remain fully within the NHS.

Richard Lawson and STeve Timmins, campaigned againt privatisation of  Weston General Hospital.Richard Lawson and STeve Timmins, campaigned againt privatisation of Weston General Hospital.

Nick Wood, chief executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, told staff this month that he would only be looking for another health trust to help run it in the future, after years of uncertainty as to whether a private partner would be welcomed.

Helen Thornton, spokesman for public service union, Unison, said she was ‘over the moon’ by the news.

She added: “This is a triumph for common sense, as well as the huge opposition locally to a private company running our local hospital.

“Since the procurement process started more than a year and a half ago, members of North Somerset Unison, along with members of the local campaign group Protect Our NHS, have campaigned against Weston Hospital being run by a private company. We believe NHS services should be run by the NHS and not by private companies who put profit before people.

“Local opposition to the privatisation of Weston Hospital has been huge and the response was an overwhelming ‘no’.

“We have always believed that if local people come together to protest against something that they believe is wrong, they can have an impact – this announcement proves us right.

“Those that say people don’t care who NHS services are run by as long as they are free, are wrong – people want their NHS services to be provided by the NHS.”

Steve Timmins, who is part of the Protect Out NHS campaign, is pleased by WAHT’s decision, but vowed to continue to fight for the very best NHS services.

He said: “We will continue to monitor the situation as there are still some concerns over the debt and how that will be structured, plus keeping an A&E 24/7.

“But overall we are delighted. In terms of partnering trusts, the nearer the better. Research shows in a life-threatening situation, every 30km you travel reduces your survival chances by one per cent.”

Meanwhile council leader Nigel Ashton and Labour councillor Catherine Gibbons also praised WAHT for its clinical improvements and decision to team up with another NHS trust.

Cllr Gibbons said: “The progress the hospital has made over these past months shows that it is a great public institution which, given the support for its staff, and the investment it deserves, can move forward.

“The people of Weston and the surrounding area can look forward to continuing to receive high quality NHS care, benefiting only people not private companies.”

Cllr Ashton added: “We are supportive of this move if it helps to secure the long-term resilience of health services provided at the hospital.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

More from Weston Mercury

7 minutes ago

Weston boss Marc McGregor has hailed the performance Tom Llewellyn in the Seagulls’ defeat at Welling United, after the teenage starlet marked his first league start with a stunning goal.

Read more
12:00

Children as young as 12 have been caught running on the roof of a derelict factory and trespassing in the collapsing building.

Read more
Yatton
07:44

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from October 4-16.

Read more
In The Dock
10:41

A six-year-old has raised more than £500 for a Wraxall charity with a sponsored hair cut.

Read more
Weston-super-Mare

The Government is set to invest more than £1million to improve pothole problems in Weston and North Somerset.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Pantomime season will return to Weston-super-Mare next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A six-piece jazz band will entertain a Portishead crowd on November 30.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:41

Westonians have criticised North Somerset Council’s commercial investment decisions after the authority spent more than £50million on acquisitions this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a firefighter? If so, there is an event next month which will be a great experience.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Drivers are having to take life-endagering risks due to high speeds in Yatton High Street, according to campaigners.

Read more
Yatton

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists