People react to overnight closure of Weston General Hospital's A&E

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 June 2017

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.

Archant

Weston General Hospital's A&E department will close overnight next month after inspectors deemed the service is 'not safe'.

The hospital’s A&E will be closed between 10pm and 8am from July 4.

The Care Quality Commission told the hospital it requires improvement and must make urgent changes to its emergency care, which is rated as inadequate.

Chief executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust – which oversees the running of the hospital – James Rimmer said: “Our A&E has been fragile for several years. We have severe challenges with recruiting and retaining senior doctors and staff to our A&E department 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and now need to find new ways to address this.

“We are at risk of falling short of providing safe levels of staffing in our A&E department at night.

“Our staff have worked incredibly hard to shore-up the department, but despite significant efforts we just can’t recruit enough permanent doctors.”

Many people reacted on social media.

Sara Flossy Maynard wrote: “Absolutely disgusting. As I have said before, this town is growing and growing – but no, they feel it right to cut back one of the town’s major services.

“I wonder how many tragic deaths they will have on their hands which can be prevented by the hospital remaining open overnight.”

Bradley Goodwin said: “And closing it at night makes it safer? I think not. This town is doing nothing but growing with more houses being built all the time, yet it’s OK to close the A&E department?”

Pel Crosby added: “Shocking. Such a shame, it is a needed facility for those in need.

“The ambulances already have large waiting times at night so now with the added travel time to the nearest A&E, this will have a big negative impact on all services.

“It’s such a shame. I have nothing but praise for the hard-working, under-staffed people working there.”

Margaret Holmes commented: “Absolute disgrace with all the new houses being built and no infrastructure to cope, no schools or extra beds in our hospital.

“When will people wake up to the Government’s attitude of ‘I’m OK’.”

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