Readers react to Weston General maternity unit changes

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital. - Credit: Archant

‘Alternative options’ to Weston General Hospital’s maternity unit must be explored, NHS bosses have said, as the town’s hospital looks to be preparing for a shake up to services.

The Mercury has reported a host of changes to the Grange Road hospital over the past few months and now NHS bosses have drafted a vision document which indicates A&E may never re-open fully at night and maternity services could be at risk. Mercury readers have reacted to this news on social media and have aired a host of concerns.

Around 170 births take place at the hospital each year, but guidelines say 500 are needed for staff to maintain enough expertise.

The document reacted to this by saying not enough women are choosing Weston, which is why changes must be made.

Reacting to a Facebook post, Nicola Sanders said she wanted to have her children at Weston, but was advised not to.

She said: “This makes me so angry as this is so wrong that people aren’t choosing Weston to have their babies.

“Lots of people do, it’s only because we’re not allowed to because you have a bit of high blood pressure or your BMI is a little over. I wanted my three children there but was not allowed.”

MORE: Weston looking to Spain and Portugal to recruit nurses.

Jay Edmunds made his point clear about how much pressure A&E departments are under.

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He said: “If people stopped going to the A&E with trivial issues then maybe just maybe things would be better, yes I understand you can’t cure it, but it’s a start.”

Charlotte Bradford said she was impressed with the aftercare of the maternity services at Weston General.

She said: “The aftercare at Weston maternity ward great.

“I’d have loved to have my baby there and so would many other women.

“If they upgrade it so minor risk pregnant women can go there, I guarantee it would exceed 500 in no time.”

Weston General Hospital’s chief executive James Rimmer said: “This is the best way to secure a strong and vibrant future for the hospital.

“Staff and the public are integral to shaping the vision. We’ll need their ideas and input to develop NHS services designed to best suit patients’ needs and which offer clinical sustainability and value for money.”

MORE: Hospital forks out close to £6million on temporary doctors.