Protest over A&E’s closure but merger talk welcomed

PUBLISHED: 07:46 11 February 2018

A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital.

A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital.

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Protect Our NHS North Somerset rallied outside Weston Genera Hospital on Tuesday to mark seven months of A&E’s ‘temporary’ overnight closure.

A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital. A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital.

The group is concerned about the lack of progress which has been made by Weston Area Health NHS Trust when it comes to recruiting senior doctors.

Those recruitment issues could be eased however – if a planned merger with University Hospitals Bristol gets the go-ahead.

Campaigners are happy by merger talk, despite similar failed attempts in the past.

Steve Timmins said: “Let us hope this will finally lead to relief for the hard-pressed staff and management at Weston General.

A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital. A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital.

“However, unless more money is injected into the system this merger will end up being just another nail in Weston General’s coffin.

“The care campus model being proposed, even as the merger talks are ongoing, is not a sensible solution to the staffing problems for the emergency department.

“If it is imposed it will be because of lack of funds not because it is a breakthrough in emergency medical care.

“This is not just a local issue, it’s a national scandal.”

A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital. A&E protesters at Weston General Hospital.

Mr Timmins said he is encouraged by John Penrose MP ‘agreeing the NHS needs more funding’.

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