Consultants propose new model to reopen hospital’s A&E
- Credit: Archant
Consultants from Weston General Hospital have come up with a new model they believe could reopen the A&E overnight.
The consultants’ body has developed a plan which would see inpatient teams supporting emergency doctors which would enable the A&E to reopen permanently.
Speaking at Weston Town Council on Monday, consultant surgeon Geoffrey Pye said: “We have recently increased the number of doctors working for in-house surgery, general surgery, general nursing and orthopaedics.
“We have developed a plan where inpatient teams support emergency department doctors so it wouldn’t require quite as many emergency department doctors.
“This new integrated model offers a way forward to provide the service.
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“We are keen for the CCG to take it under its wing and look at it carefully with us to see if it will work.”
The hospital’s A& E department was closed overnight temporarily in July 2017 due to a lack of staff and concerns for patients’ safety.
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Members of the public have been campaigning for it to reopen ever since and Dr Pye confirmed the hospital has now recruited enough doctors to sufficiently support the A&E.
Professor Parag Singhal, consultant endocrinologist, said the model could be a trend-setter and provide a way to save around 30 hospitals in the UK where A&Es are under threat.
The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is leading the Health Weston reforms, released five potential models for the hospital – with only one providing around-the-clock emergency care.
Alternative options include a 14-hour-a-day consultant-led A&E, as it is now, a 14-hour consultant and GP-led A&E, a medical centre led by GPs or a GP-led urgent treatment centre.
However, the consultants’ body has raised serious concerns about the proposals which they say would represent a gamble to the South West’s hospitals.
The consultants’ model is supported by Weston Town Council which urged the CCG to consider the proposal.
Cllr Richard Nightingale said: “Their model delivers 24/7 quality accident and emergency care for residents in a safe environment and within the staffing resources available and could provide a resolution to the current A&E overnight closure.”
Dr Martin Jones, medical director at BNSSG CCG, said: “We had a very positive and constructive meeting on Tuesday with the consultants and although there is still a lot of work to do, we are meeting again this week to continue our discussions.”