85% say Weston General Hospital services need to change: Survey

Hospital investment needed

Weston General Hospital - Credit: Weston Area Health NHS Trust

A survey of almost 900 people - including hospital staff – has shown strong support for changes proposed at Weston general Hospital.

The scheme, under the Healthy Weston programme, includes plans that would see people requiring treatment of more than 24 hours being moved to 'neighbouring' hospitals.

The A&E department would remain open 14 hours a day, seven days a week, while specialist 'centres of excellence' would be created - in surgery and older people's care.

The North Somerset Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel will consider the plans at a meeting on April 20, with the chagnes set to be rolled out in early 2023.

Now, an open survey has found 85% of people agree that services need to change - and 91% support improvements to same-day emergency care.

The NHS says the proposals – designed by senior doctors, nurses and other health professionals – have been created to ensure more people can undergo planned procedures locally each year, and the hospital can attract the staff it needs to thrive.

Key findings from the survey include:
85% of people agree that services at Weston General Hospital need to change.
91% support improvements to same day emergency care at A&E.
86% support making Weston General Hospital a centre of excellence for surgical training to attract new staff and provide development opportunities for existing staff.
68% support the idea of transferring patients who require an unplanned inpatient stay to neighbouring hospitals.
90% support plans to help older people avoid hospital stays and make any necessary hospital admissions as short as possible.

The results of the survey, which was part of a wider programme of engagement with staff, patients and local people, will be used to inform the development of the draft proposals. These will be subject to further engagement over the coming months.

Most Read

Speaking about the survey results, Annabel Plaister, a public governor at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust representing North Somerset, said: "This survey shows that local people support change at Weston General to help it become the best it can be. 

"There are exciting opportunities for Weston General Hospital and making sure that the patient and public voice is part of that is so important. 

"I’m really pleased to see that local people are being asked for their views as part of the process of further improvement.”

READ MORE: Plans to change care at Weston General Hospital revealed

Dr Andrew Hollowood, medical director at Weston General Hospital, said: "It's great to see there is public support for increasing the numbers of planned operations we could provide locally, preserving the 14/7 A&E service and improving same day emergency care.

"There is a real opportunity to secure a bright and sustainable future for Weston General Hospital. 

"We want to be able to respond effectively to the health needs of the local population, providing more of the services people need most often."

The NHS sais it will use the results, along with other feedback from staff, patients and the public, to refine the proposals ahead of further engagement expected in the summer.