'Small' Weston General Hospital in Streetlife debate

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 January 2016

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.

Archant

THE financial concerns and capacity problems surrounding Weston General Hospital have been doing the rounds on Streetlife this week.

The hospital is feeling the pressure as patient demand during the festive period caused it to be placed under a ‘black alert’. It was then placed on ‘black alert’ for a second time on Tuesday.

This meant patients with all but the most serious life-threatening conditions were advised to avoid the Grange Road hospital’s accident and emergency department.

The Weston Area Health Trust (WAHT) was also facing a deficit of more than £7million last year – but many Streetlife users felt the hospital was struggling as a result of central Government policies and could not cope with the area’s rapidly-increasing population.

Robert B said: “The Government has told the council that North Somerset has got to build 25,000 houses (and) most of them will be built in Weston and Worle.

“I was wondering if there are any plans to extend the hospital or maybe build another one at another location and make it bigger?”

Tony W said: “It (WAHT) is the smallest trust in the UK and is at full capacity most of the time.

“It urgently needs extending if it is to be able to meet the increasing needs of the North Somerset area. More and more people use the hospital but it has remained largely the same since 1986 – something needs to give.”

Philip P said: “As many people realise, the hospital here is a pint-size junior compared with the standard average across the country, and therefore has been vulnerable to assessments from time-to-time as to whether it’s really up to size for the purpose.

“Although a relatively small general hospital, it has an important role, and I certainly don’t see it disappearing.

“One way or another, Weston will continue to function within a trust organisation.

“The important thing at present, as the original questioner raises, is to plan ahead for any necessary local hospital growth to support any expansion in the population.”

Richard L believed the hospital had been underfunded for several years.

He said: “Weston General Hospital is too small and also has been severely underfunded for many years.

“There is a Keep our NHS Public group in Weston that is re-convening after a short rest.

“We will be meeting at the Weston Working Men’s Club, in Orchard Street, at 7.30pm on February 9.

“It would be great to see some new faces.”

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