Consultants propose new model to reopen hospital's A&E
PUBLISHED: 06:55 24 January 2019
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.
“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.
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.”