Weston General Hospital's consultants say 24-hour A&E must remain in the town

PUBLISHED: 08:55 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:30 21 April 2017

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.

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Consultants at Weston General Hospital say they are 'strongly opposed' to any changes to its A&E department.

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has spent the past eight weeks asking for public views on four changes at Weston Area Health NHS Trust, which runs the Weston-super-Mare hospital.

The ideas include scaling back the hospital’s A&E service at night, offering fewer emergency operations, increasing pre-planned surgeries and reducing intensive care beds in favour of beds for slightly less unwell patients.

The hospital’s consultants have written a letter to the CCG’s chief clinical officer Dr Mary Backhouse which they say ‘reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of Weston consultants’.

The consultants say a 24/7 emergency department (ED) is in the ‘best interests’ of the population and the trust, and add ‘innovative ways of staffing and delivering emergency care’ are being trialled which they believe will establish a safe and resilient future for the department.

The response says maximising day surgery would benefit people in North Somerset, but says this should be done in conjunction with a 24/7 emergency surgery provision at the hospital.

It also says intensive care beds should remain at the hospital, as most patients who need them become acutely unwell after being admitted, and so the beds would be required even if some emergency cases were sent elsewhere.

The response adds: “In view of the expanding house stock, which will bring more young families to Weston, we would like to highlight the need to consolidate and expand our acute paediatric (children’s) services.

“Given the interdependencies of different services, any change to a 24/7 ED service will destabilise the hospital making it difficult to provide care to complex patients during the day as well as overnight. We are strongly opposed to any change in the existing ED.”

Read more on the proposed changes at Weston General Hospital here.

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