CCG recommends A&E at Weston General Hospital stays shut overnight
PUBLISHED: 06:55 04 February 2019
Health bosses have recommended A&E at Weston General Hospital should not reopen permanently overnight, which could have implications to patients across the region.
A 24/7 service was just one of five models put forward by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to go to public consultation after Weston’s department closed ‘temporarily’ in July 2017.
But the governing body will consider a report which prefers an A&E between 8am and 10pm seven days a week, with a strengthened GP out-of-hours service and more direct admissions onto hospital wards overnight.
Dr Peter Collins, the medical director at Weston Area Health Trust, added: “This is an exciting opportunity to transform services at the hospital for the benefit of all our patients.
“We need to be able to attract and retain key staff to work here, and the way to do that is by becoming a centre of excellence.”
A decision was expected to be made at a public meeting yesterday (Tuesday) as the Times went to press.
There will be a continued reliance on emergency care in Bristol and Taunton in the most serious cases – as per before and during the overnight closure.
There are also plans to develop the hospital as a centre of excellence, with a frailty service for older people and an extended service for acutely unwell children, alongside more planned surgery and increased access to specialist outpatient services, such as cancer care.
Dr Martin Jones, medical director at the CCG, said: “We need a genuine 21st century service which meets the needs of our patients now and in the future, and we believe our proposals will achieve that.
“The preferred option we are putting forward has been shaped by doctors, health and care professionals and the public.
“It will allow us to deliver 24-hour urgent and emergency care in the most effective way, with a boosted out-of-hours service and greater opportunity for GPs to admit patients directly onto wards overnight.
“Weston General is unable to meet national clinical quality standards across all its services.
“We also have a shortage of specialist staff available for some services and it’s vital we address this and put the hospital on a sustainable footing.”