Weston General Hospital to start overnight closures
PUBLISHED: 12:56 04 July 2017
North Somerset will have no A&E department open overnight from today (Tuesday).
Weston General Hospital’s emergency ward will shut at 10pm tonight and will not reopen until 8am tomorrow morning (Wednesday).
Hospital bosses say the overnight closures are a necessary temporary measure, but are not able to say when it will return to being a 24-hour centre.
Protestors angered by the move made their feelings clear ahead of a board meeting this morning.
The move comes following stinging criticism from the Care Quality Commission last month, which raised concerns over patients’ safety due to a lack of doctors and the need in some cases for people to be treated in corridors.
Weston Area Health NHS Trust chief executive James Rimmer said: “We are at risk of falling short of providing safe levels of staffing in our A&E department at night.
“Our staff have worked incredibly hard to shore-up the department but despite significant efforts we just can’t recruit enough permanent doctors and are very dependent on temporary and locum staff.
“That isn’t sustainable for such a highly specialist clinical team and poses an intractable problem for the trust.”
Paramedics have been instructed to take late-night patients to Taunton or Bristol while Weston’s A&E is closed.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the North Somerset Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.