Nine hour wait in town hospital A&E department

PUBLISHED: 06:01 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 May 2010

PATIENTS waited nine hours for emergency treatment at Weston General Hospital this week as staff struggled to cope with surging demand. Weeks of record patient numbers in June saw the hospital miss its Government four-hour accident and emergency (A&E) tar

PATIENTS waited nine hours for emergency treatment at Weston General Hospital this week as staff struggled to cope with surging demand.Weeks of record patient numbers in June saw the hospital miss its Government four-hour accident and emergency (A&E) target. No data is available for July, but a punishing past week saw five patients, including a vomiting one-year-old, waiting up to nine hours for A&E treatment on Monday night as more seriously ill people were seen.The busy period has dealt a blow to plans health bosses had to reduce beds at the hospital in favour of more care in the community.Surgical, orthopaedic and rehabilitation beds were reduced from 141 to 102 in mid June, but 22 had to be brought back in to cope with demand.While staff nurses have quit the hospital over the reforms, agency nurses are being employed to handle the workload. Chief executive Mark Gritten said: "We all recognise that increasing admissions and decreasing beds at the same time has significantly increased the demands on us all. "We have introduced short-term measures while we continue to work with North Somerset Primary Care Trust to ensure inappropriate patients are not admitted to hospital, but cared for in more suitable settings."In the meantime, I recognise the pressure on staff on the wards in particular and would like to reassure everyone we are reviewing the situation each week.

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