Weston General Hospital’s A&E department to be scaled back as major changes planned

PUBLISHED: 09:21 09 February 2017

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.

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Weston General Hospital’s A&E department faces being scaled back as part of a plan which its bosses hope will secure the hospital’s future ‘for decades to come’.

The hospital's chief executive James Rimmer.The hospital's chief executive James Rimmer.

Financial instability and trouble recruiting staff have plagued the Weston-super-Mare hospital for years. It reached full capacity numerous times this winter and it is continuing to face unprecedented demand as the local population spirals.

NHS bosses know something must change and today (Thursday) the hospital is revealing the four ideas it hopes will secure its future.

The first of those proposals would be to limit treatment at the Grange Road hospital A&E department from 10pm each night until 8am each morning, during which time paramedics would instead take patients directly to hospitals in Taunton or Bristol instead.

However, Weston Area Health NHS Trust chief executive James Rimmer says the emergency department’s doors ‘will remain open 24 hours a day’ for people who get themselves to hospital, and insists the changes are about providing the right care for the right patients in the right place.

As well as the proposed changes to A&E, other ideas include scaling back emergency surgeries – which require large teams of specialist staff to be on duty 24/7 – while non-complex, pre-planned operations are increased.

More high-dependency beds – which care for people with life-threatening conditions – could also be added.

But, no decisions have been made yet and both the hospital and North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging hospital staff, patients and people living in North Somerset to share their views on the ideas.

See the Mercury today (Thursday) for the full story.

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