'Time for a change to protect the NHS', says campaign group

Save Weston A&E protest outside Weston Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Save Weston A&E protest outside Weston Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A campaign group believes ‘it is time for a change’ in order to protect the NHS from long-term damage. 

For the past five years, Protect Our NHS North Somerset has been a part of the campaign, spearheaded by the Save Weston A&E group, to retain a 24-hour A&E department at Weston General Hospital.   

The group now believes it is time to broaden the scope of its campaign and confront the multitude of health issues facing North Somerset at the end of this dreadful year. 

Its spokesman said: “It is our intention, therefore, to support the work of our NHS throughout our county and region.  And we want to emphasise that small word ‘our’ in our campaign’s name.   

“The NHS belongs not to government, nor to management, nor to clinical commissioners and definitely not to American health insurance conglomerates.  

“It belongs to us. And it is ‘us’ who have to fight to keep it safe from destruction by political ideologists or exploitation by rapacious multi-nationals." 

Protect Our NHS North Somerset will still be keeping a close watch on the changes at Weston General Hospital now that it has merged with UHBT to become the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and is also preparing for the Healthy Weston review in April.   

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Its spokesman added: “In the light of recent announcements, can a ratio of one nurse to 10 or 12 patients – increased from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for patient safety of 1:6 during days and 1:8 on nights - ever be regarded as genuinely safe practice?  

“After the corrupt cronyism revealed by the personal protective equipment procurement mess that was then followed by the shambolic chaos of our ‘world-beating Track and Trace system’, there is time for genuine hope and excitement at the end of 2020 with the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines.  

“We, at Protect our NHS North Somerset, along with everyone else, have been delighted to hear this excellent news.   

"As ever, our thanks go out to all the doctors, nurses, carers and ancillary staff at our hospitals, GP practices and care homes.” 

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