Ambulance waiting time fears raised by NHS campaign group

PUBLISHED: 09:04 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 19 March 2018

Campaigners outside The Conservative Club in Weston-super-Mare.

Campaigners outside The Conservative Club in Weston-super-Mare.

n/a

Protestors fighting to protect Weston General Hospital’s emergency department say people have had to wait two hours for an ambulance due to the ward’s overnight closure.

A&E has not been open from 10pm-8am since early July and the ‘temporary’ closure on safety grounds shows no sign of ending eight months on.

Banners calling for Weston’s A&E to be ‘saved’ were waved in Alexandra Parade on March 9 outside The Conservative Club, in Alexandra Parade.

The closure decision was taken as Weston Area Health NHS Trust did not have the staff in place to operate a 24-hour service.

Three middle-grade doctors are due to start in May which would put the department closer to its requirements, but it still needs a further five full-time consultant posts to be filled. James Rimmer, the trust’s chief executive, said he expects those vacancies will be easier to fill once the May starters arrive.

But the seeming lack of progress continues to worry the Protect Our NHS campaign team.

A spokesman said: “The protesters held a discussion about the A&E closure, during which concern was expressed about the difficulty of getting to hospital at night.

“One person with chest pain recently had a two-hour wait for an ambulance at night, and another had to pay for an £80 return taxi fare to Taunton.

“There is much concern about the impact of the closure on the ambulance service, which has to make longer journeys.”

The spokesman admitted thought that recruitment difficulties are a UK-wide issue and Weston is not an isolated case.

They added: “The demo was outside the Conservative Party venue as it has been in power for eight years, and is responsible for the appalling state the NHS finds itself in at the moment.

“Overall funding has shrunk since 2010, in spite of rising population, numbers of old people and people with complicated long lasting conditions.”

Another demonstration is planned for April 6 at 2pm outside the same venue.

More from Weston Mercury

14 minutes ago

An action-packed superhero adventure comes to cinema screens next week, and Mercury readers will win tickets to see it.

Read more

The family of a Worle youngster have praised their son’s bravery after he won a Somerset Award.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

A sing-along screening of 2017’s smash hit The Greatest Showman will take place at Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A stunning display of more than 100,000 twinkling lights in a Burnham cul-de-sac has raised more than £1,000 for local charities, in just its opening week.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Plans to extend Weston’s conservation area – and open it up to receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of grants – has been given the green light.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:06

Father Christmas is checking in on his elves this festive season at his South West Workshop in Cheddar.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

With less than two weeks to go until the big day, Westonians will not have to travel far to find festive cheer this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:13

Organisations in North Somerset have walked away with accolades at a travel awards ceremony.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:35

The eat:Festivals organisers are over the moon to be able to put on their first festive food event after relocating to the Sovereign Centre.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Weston dog walkers started a clean-up group after their park became overrun with dog poo.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists