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Weston Hospital A&E overnight closure likely to become permanent

by mikebell on 30 January, 2019

The overnight closure of Weston General Hospital accident and emergency department could become permanent as part of changes to health services across in the town.

Health bosses shut the department from 10pm to 8am each night in July 2017. Despite coming under fierce pressure to re-open the A&E as a 24/7 facility from the local community, the NHS is proposing to keep the overnight closure in place.

As well as the continued closure of A&E overnight, plans include a strengthened out of hours GP service and more direct admissions onto hospital wards overnight via GP referral.

The most serious emergency cases – such as head injuries and heart attacks – would continue to be transferred to specialist centres at neighbouring hospitals in Bristol and Taunton.

As part of the proposed changes there are also plans to develop Weston General Hospital as a centre of excellence for frailty.

If agreed, a public consultation on the plans will start in February and run through to mid-May.

Commenting on the proposals for A&E, Weston-super-Mare Central Ward Councillor Mike Bell said:

“So the truth is out. The CCG wants to make overnight closure permanent and leave the axe hanging over the long term future of our local accident and emergency department.
“Local people have been betrayed by this decision. Before the last General Election, we were told there were no plans to close A&E. This was false. We were promised that the overnight closure that followed was temporary. Not true.
“We have been promised that local views and the expert opinion of doctors and other health professionals would be listened to. Yet, the ideas from consultants have been ignored and the strong views expressed by the public thus far have been sidelined. Nothing has changed.
“The CCG is required by law to consult on this permanent closure. We must make them listen and change these plans.”
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