One month on from the announcement of Weston's A&E closure and still no date set for its re-opening
PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 July 2017
Weston General Hospital's A&E department has been closed overnight for more than a week, but there is still no news on when the closure will end.
In the first six nights of the temporary closure, 21 people from Weston-super-Mare and its surrounding villages were admitted to other hospitals at night, while eight people tried to access services at Weston General only to find its doors were closed.
It has been exactly a month since hospital bosses decided to close the A&E overnight, but there is still no clear plan of when 24-hour emergency care will return to Weston or what kind of overnight service the hospital will offer in the future.
MORE: Why was A&E closed?
However the hospital’s medical director Dr Peter Collins has vowed to update the people of Weston as soon as possible.
The hospital introduced the overnight closure of the department on July 4, which means its doors are now closed from 10pm-8am.
Patients are instead being taken to hospitals in Bristol or Taunton, receiving care through out-of-hours GP services, or getting advice from 111 or 999 lines.
The decision to close the A&E at night came after a report from the Care Quality Commission found it was not safe, due to a lack of emergency doctors.
In the first six nights of closure, at least 21 people who would normally have been treated in Weston were admitted to hospitals in Bristol and Taunton. It is not known what happened to the eight people who turned up the A&E to find it closed.
But Dr Collins said the healthcare system is ‘coping well’ with the closure and stressed all patients have been given ‘safe and appropriate care’.
He added: “No doubt there are still people unaware of the revised opening times so we would urge Mercury readers to remind friends and family to help us spread the word as far as possible.
“It’s also important to remember the A&E is open from 8am until 10pm so even if you arrive a few minutes before 10pm we will still see you.
“Going forward, we’re looking at our A&E services to see how we can provide safe and sustainable care for North Somerset residents, taking into consideration the challenges we have around doctor recruitment in the department.
“Plans are still in development and we will update the public as soon as we’re able to.”