Weston-super-Mare’s ‘underfunded’ hospital at risk due to new cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 February 2017

Concerns have been raised about the future of Weston's hospital.

Concerns have been raised about the future of Weston's hospital.

Archant

Weston and North Somerset Trades Council has called for a stop to ‘bewildering’ cuts to the NHS as concern for the area’s standard of healthcare continues to grow.

The trades council – consisting of a number of trade unions in the area – was formed back in 2010 and dedicated the whole of its most recent meeting to the NHS.

Back in November, the Mercury reported NHS leaders in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) created a sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for the next five years.

The hope is the plan will reduce hospital admissions, while saving millions of pounds and avoiding any duplication of services at different nearby hospitals.

But a former GP in North Somerset says he is concerned by the lack of funding in Weston and the impact the STP may have on the hospital.

Dr Richard Lawson said: “I miss the medicine but I do not miss the way it has become more about management.

“The aim of the STP is to make it sustainable but it is the opposite.

“There are 1.2-1.5 beds per 1,000 people in Weston and the UK average is more than twice that. Weston is underfunded by £3million every year. If this carries on, it will no longer function as a hospital.”

Richard Capps, secretary of the trades council, said: “The Government has created this crisis.

“Hospitals are underfunded, social care has collapsed, staff are overworked, while staff morale has hit rock bottom.”

The organisation is campaigning to stop any further cuts to the service and meet on the first Tuesday of every month at the Workingmen’s Club, in Orchard Street.

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