Hospital ward to close but staff keep their jobs
PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 May 2011
A SECOND ward at Weston General Hospital is set to close in under a year under plans to merge services.
The hospital trust has confirmed this week that it wants to move services from its 15-bed cardiac unit into an acute unit opened in October.
The move would impact on the future of 21 staff at the ward, who, a hospital spokesman said, will be redeployed elsewhere and not made redundant.
A consultation on the ward closure has started as part of a review into how the most seriously illpatients are cared for at the hospital.
The spokesman said: “Following the success of a new acute unit, the next stage is to integrate cardiac patients into this model of care, which enables patients to benefit from early assessment by senior doctors.
“Many patients now come into hospital with more than one condition requiring medical attention and this new model of care allows these patients to be cared for in the best place available within the hospital.”
The proposed move comes six months after the Hutton ward was closed with the loss of 28 beds under plans to move services into people’s homes.
The trust this week reaffirmed it was still working closely with partnership services to provide virtual-style medical wards outside the hospital.
Where appropriate, a spokesman said care could be delivered closer to patients’ homes under the scheme, which is being delivered in partnership with NHS North Somerset.
Last month, the NHS body said it hoped to open seven of the wards, which would be set up mainly between doctors’ surgeries, with GPs and other experts visiting people in their own homes to treat them.