Poll Of The Week: Will Weston General Hospital’s A&E re-open at night?

PUBLISHED: 11:49 07 July 2017

The A&E department in Weston-super-Mare is now closed overnight, from 10pm to 8am.

The A&E department in Weston-super-Mare is now closed overnight, from 10pm to 8am.

Archant

Weston General Hospital’s A&E is now closed overnight, but despite a public outcry prompting promises it will re-open, bosses are unable to confirm when the temporary closure will end – do YOU think it will re-open?

Do YOU think Weston-super-Mare's A&E will re-open 24 hours a day?Do YOU think Weston-super-Mare's A&E will re-open 24 hours a day?

Today we are launching our new Friday feature: Poll Of The Week.

We want to get your views on some of the biggest talking points in Weston-super-Mare each week, this week that is the town’s A&E department.

From 10pm to 8am, Weston now has no A&E service. Patients are instead greeted with telephones at the department’s doors which can be used to call 999 or 111 and ambulances will take people to Bristol and Taunton hospitals.

MORE: Weston General Hospital’s board quizzed on A&E closure.

Speaking after the first overnight closure, the hospital’s medical director Peter Collins said: “I’m pleased to say the whole healthcare system has coped well with the impact of the closure overnight and all patients have been given safe and appropriate care.”

Why has the A&E closed overnight?

A damning inspection report from the Care Quality Commission found the A&E department was not safe and so its bosses made the decision to temporarily close it overnight.

The main issue for the department is its inability to recruit specialist doctors, 50 per cent of its consultant positions are vacant and just 29 per cent of posts for middle-grade doctors are filled. This means it has a heavy reliance on expensive locum doctors.

The hospital’s chief executive James Rimmer told the public the problem has ‘got worse not better’ at a board meeting on Tuesday, and Mr Collins added: “In the past we have been able to recruit long-term locums who have got used to our department and our care. What we have seen more recently is a shift to much more short-term locum doctors.”

MORE: Weston General Hospital board remains ‘committed’ to 24/7 emergency care.

Mr Collins also gave assurance the department is safe during the day, and said: “The people in our emergency department are providing safe care when they are there. The problem is, we don’t have enough staff to be able to guarantee that we can provide a safe service 24 hours a day.”

But – despite the fact the temporary closure is costing the hospital money – Mr Collins admitted he did not have a date for when A&E will re-open, and said: “What I am committed to, and what I understand, is the process of how we are going to get back to providing services overnight.”

What happens if I need to go to A&E at night?

Every night, around 27 people attend Weston’s A&E. Of those, 12 would normally arrive by ambulance – these people will automatically be taken to A&Es in Bristol or Taunton. Some of these patients will later be transferred back to Weston for further care.

Other patients are being advised to dial 111 or 999 for help.

Weston’s A&E will be closed from 10pm, but doctors will work until 2am to cope with any backlog of patients. Nurses will be in the department through the night to look after patients who may not be able to be admitted to a ward.

The hospital has increased the size of its security team and people will be monitoring CCTV outside of the A&E department each night, to ensure anyone who arrives at A&E while it is shut, but needs attention, can be identified.

The hospital’s resuscitation team, who deal with crash calls on its wards, are able to be called should they be required.

MORE: Protestors call on hospital bosses to keep 24-hour A&E – video.

More from Weston Mercury

16:00

A couple’s home was raided while they were partying the night away at a police ball. The story featured in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago.

Read more

Girls from across the Extend Learning Academies Network in Weston came together for an inter-schools football tournament.

Read more

Work has begun on Weston’s £11million flagship food and drink centre, which is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area.

Read more

Weston stroke survivors could benefit from a ‘life-changing’ new rehabilitation programme.

Read more
10:50

Significant improvements to day-time operations at Weston General Hospital’s A&E have been recognised by health inspectors.

Read more

Indie rock band The Zutons will perform in Bristol next spring.

Read more

An action-packed superhero adventure comes to cinema screens next week, and Mercury readers will win tickets to see it.

Read more

The family of a Worle youngster have praised their son’s bravery after he won a Somerset Award.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

A sing-along screening of 2017’s smash hit The Greatest Showman will take place at Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A stunning display of more than 100,000 twinkling lights in a Burnham cul-de-sac has raised more than £1,000 for local charities, in just its opening week.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists