Ambulance waiting time fears raised by NHS campaign group

PUBLISHED: 09:04 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 19 March 2018

Campaigners outside The Conservative Club in Weston-super-Mare.

Campaigners outside The Conservative Club in Weston-super-Mare.

n/a

Protestors fighting to protect Weston General Hospital’s emergency department say people have had to wait two hours for an ambulance due to the ward’s overnight closure.

A&E has not been open from 10pm-8am since early July and the ‘temporary’ closure on safety grounds shows no sign of ending eight months on.

Banners calling for Weston’s A&E to be ‘saved’ were waved in Alexandra Parade on March 9 outside The Conservative Club, in Alexandra Parade.

The closure decision was taken as Weston Area Health NHS Trust did not have the staff in place to operate a 24-hour service.

Three middle-grade doctors are due to start in May which would put the department closer to its requirements, but it still needs a further five full-time consultant posts to be filled. James Rimmer, the trust’s chief executive, said he expects those vacancies will be easier to fill once the May starters arrive.

But the seeming lack of progress continues to worry the Protect Our NHS campaign team.

A spokesman said: “The protesters held a discussion about the A&E closure, during which concern was expressed about the difficulty of getting to hospital at night.

“One person with chest pain recently had a two-hour wait for an ambulance at night, and another had to pay for an £80 return taxi fare to Taunton.

“There is much concern about the impact of the closure on the ambulance service, which has to make longer journeys.”

The spokesman admitted thought that recruitment difficulties are a UK-wide issue and Weston is not an isolated case.

They added: “The demo was outside the Conservative Party venue as it has been in power for eight years, and is responsible for the appalling state the NHS finds itself in at the moment.

“Overall funding has shrunk since 2010, in spite of rising population, numbers of old people and people with complicated long lasting conditions.”

Another demonstration is planned for April 6 at 2pm outside the same venue.

Other News Stories

A Elborough musician has finished in the top 10 per cent in a worldwide film scoring competition.

Read more

People have been warned not to paddle or drink water in Apex Park lake after clumps of blue-green algae were found.

Read more
12:49

A man was airlifted to hospital yesterday (Sunday) after collapsing while refereeing a charity football match in Weston-super-Mare.

Read more

The number of people convicted for possessing cannabis in the region has plummeted by almost 70 per cent, latest figures show.

Read more
10:01

Police have confirmed this morning (Monday) a teenager who went missing last week has been found ‘safe and well’.

Read more
13:00

Victims of power tool thefts are being encouraged to come forward after a massive haul of stolen equipment was recovered by police.

Read more
09:00

North Somerset Council has paid £60,000 for ‘specialist support’ on plans for 25,000 new homes which will be built before 2036.

Read more
07:14

Thousands of people may unknowingly have a sexual-transmitted bug.

Read more

A £1.2million offer has been made on Weston-super-Mare’s derelict Royal Pier Hotel site – meaning North Somerset Council could soon get back the £120,000 it is owed for the building’s demolition.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Traders at Weston’s Dolphin Square complex are enjoying their first year in business, with tens of thousands of customers pouring through the doors.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 19°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

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder