Consultation on future of Weston’s health service not planned until 2019

PUBLISHED: 06:23 31 August 2018

James Rimmer, chief executive of Weston General Hospital.

James Rimmer, chief executive of Weston General Hospital.

Archant

The public will not be consulted until next year on the future of Weston’s health system as bosses seek to be ‘bolder and more creative’.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reviewing key services such as A&E and maternity for the town.

The project began last year but the CCG’s vision will not be showcased this year.

One of the chief concerns will be around the make-up of Weston General Hospital.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust’s chief executive James Rimmer told the Mercury this summer it will continue to aim to provide a 24/7 A&E until any such time it is told not to by the CCG. A&E has been closed overnight since July 2017.

The Healthy Weston overview produced last year raised doubts over Ashcombe Ward, given the lack of mothers choosing to deliver there.

Other key areas the CCG is focussing on include planned operations and conditions connected to frailty.

The CCG stresses no decisions have been made yet – and will not be made without consultation.

Its spokesman said: “We need to be bolder, and more creative if we are to deliver sustainable health and care services in and outside of hospital in the future.

“Over the summer, clinicians and health and care professionals are meeting to learn from how other parts of the country and the world deliver services in different ways to meet common challenges.

“For example, an ageing population living with more long-term conditions, smaller hospitals needing to remain sustainable, and the challenges of rural and coastal locations.

“A series of potential options for the way services could be delivered in the future will be developed. From this, a shortlist will become part of a ‘pre-consultation business case’, describing the detailed workforce, activity, workforce, capital requirements etc to deliver them, for formal public consultation in 2019.

“No decisions have yet been made on the future of services, and won’t be until after a full public consultation next year.

“We will continue to provide updates on our work over the coming months and if you would like to be involved in the next phase of design and discussion in the early autumn, please email bnssg.healthyweston@nhs.net”

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