Proposal for A&E will enable staff to deliver 24-hour emergency care in the ‘most effective way’

Dr Martin Jones and Dr Peter Collins.

Dr Martin Jones and Dr Peter Collins. - Credit: Archant

Changes to Weston General Hospital will enable a ‘21st century service’ to be provided to patients, according to health bosses.

The Mercury reported yesterday (Wednesday) the 24/7 A&E service is set to be cut for good – subject to public consultation next month – after Weston’s department closed ‘temporarily’ in July 2017.

MORE: Weston’s ‘temporary’ A&E ‘should not reopen overnight’.

But the governing body will consider a report which prefers an A&E between 8am and 10pm seven days a week, with a strengthened GP out-of-hours service and more direct admissions onto hospital wards overnight.

It will consider the recommendation at a public meeting on Tuesday at 1.30pm at the Royal Hotel in South Parade.

Dr Martin Jones, medical director at the CCG, said: “We need a genuine 21st century service which meets the needs of our patients now and in the future, and we believe our proposals will achieve that.

“The preferred option we are putting forward has been shaped by doctors, health and care professionals and the public.

“It will allow us to deliver 24-hour urgent and emergency care in the most effective way, with a boosted out-of-hours service and greater opportunity for GPs to admit patients directly onto wards overnight.

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“We know staff at the hospital do a fantastic job every day, yet Weston General is unable to meet national clinical quality standards across all its services.

“We also have a shortage of specialist staff available for some services and it’s vital we address this, and put the hospital on a sustainable footing.

MORE: John Penrose calls on health bosses to reopen A&E overnight.

Dr Peter Collins, A&E consultant and medical director at Weston Area Health Trust, added: “This is an exciting opportunity to transform services at the hospital for the benefit of all our patients.

“These proposals, developed by clinicians, would allow us to continue to deliver the care people need most often at Weston General, as the vast majority of services and treatments would continue to be provided at the hospital at the times of day they are most in demand.

“We need to be able to attract and retain key staff to work here, and the way to do that is by becoming a centre of excellence.

“It’s also crucial that we provide local people and our staff with greater clarity and certainty about the future and I hope staff and the public will take the opportunity to share their views during the consultation period.”