CCG defends planned changes to Weston General Hospital's A&E department
PUBLISHED: 06:55 06 March 2019
'We can't have an all-singing-and-all-dancing' hospital in Weston, according to a North Somerset councillor.
Concerns over plans to change Weston General Hospital have been raised by members who met for the first time since public consultation began last month.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is three weeks into a 14-week consultation on the options, with a medically-led service between 8am-10pm seven days a week its preferred choice.
Cllr Ann Harley, speaking at February 28’s health and scrutiny panel meeting, said: “We have got to go for change, we cannot have an all-singing-and all-dancing Weston hospital.”
But not everyone accepts a reduction in A&E hours is right.
Before the consultation began, the hospital’s consultants’ body developed a plan for inpatient teams supporting emergency doctors, which they felt would enable the A&E to reopen 24/7.
However, that is not one of the options open to people taking part in the CCG’s Healthy Weston survey.
Cllr Mike Bell said: “They (the consultants) are not being given a fair consideration, how are you going to make sure they are going to be given a fair and impartial assessment?
“Unless you include the consultant’s model I do not think you can show it has been fully considered.”
Julia Ross, chief executive of the CCG, said the consultants’ option is ‘very similar in some places’ to the governing body’s but a 24-hour model is ‘not sustainable’.
She added: “There are challenges we have to address and there have been a lot of variations in care across Weston.
“Weston General Hospital has faced staffing and financial concerns and it has struggled as a whole across the board.
“We do not believe the 24-hour A&E is a sustainable model, I understand people’s concerns and anxieties but the sky didn’t fall in when it began.
“The consultants model is very similar in some places to our plans but whatever model we end up implementing it will have to address the case for change.”
To find out about public meetings in the Mercury patch, visit the CCG website.