Consultation on hospital a 'Trojan horse' ahead of future downgrades, say campaigners

PUBLISHED: 14:55 04 October 2019

Save Weston A&E protesters gathered outside Weston Town Hall before the meeting.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Save Weston A&E protesters gathered outside Weston Town Hall before the meeting. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Two days of protests were organised by Save Weston A&E this week to try to raise awareness about the emergency department's future.

Save Weston A&E protesters pictured with a funeral hearse outside Winter Gardens, where NHS bosses are making decision about Weston A&E.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONSave Weston A&E protesters pictured with a funeral hearse outside Winter Gardens, where NHS bosses are making decision about Weston A&E. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Scores of campaigners made their feelings known by protesting and chanting outside Weston Town Hall on Monday and the Winter Gardens on Tuesday.

Cllr Tim Taylor, speaking at last week's full council meeting before joining the protest, said: "The public consultation process was a Trojan horse for what will come later, which will see future downgrading and unstated proposals on recruiting GPs where there is already a shortage.

"The permanent overnight closure will have real life impacts on elderly and vulnerable people which we don't see measured by the health service."

MORE: Health bosses say they will not sell off Weston General Hospital.

The protests coincided with North Somerset Council's health overview and scrutiny panel's (HOSP) and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) meetings.

On Tuesday, Save Weston A&E organised a hearse to travel down the seafront alongside its march.

Protest outside the town hall by Save Weston A&E.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONProtest outside the town hall by Save Weston A&E. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Steve Timmins, before the HOSP meeting, told councillors: "Weston General Hospital simply does not fit with the CCG's model of health care.

"The proposals are not in the interests of health care in this area.

"North Somerset is not some sad little back water where elderly people come to retire, we have an expanding and growing younger population."

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