Somerset

Weston General A&E: Two-thirds opposed to ongoing closure

Weston General Hospital Image copyright Weston Area Health NHS Trust
Image caption The emergency department at Weston General Hospital has been temporarily closed between 22:00 and 08:00 since July 2017

The overnight closure of a hospital's A&E department is opposed by two-thirds of residents, figures have revealed.

The emergency department at Weston General Hospital has been temporarily closed between 22:00 and 08:00 since July 2017.

The move came as a preventative measure due to a lack of staff.

A consultation showed that 69% of residents do not support the overnight closure continuing, with fears the hospital is being downgraded.

Presently those with serious and life-threatening emergencies are being told to dial 999, and ambulances will take them to Bristol or Taunton.

A report to the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire clinical commissioning group (CCG) said: "Responses stated that vulnerable or priority groups such as older people, those with young children, those from economically deprived areas and those without private transport could be most affected."

Some expressed concern that the population of Weston was growing, and spiked during the holiday season, so the town needed a 24-hour emergency department.

They raised concerns about the difficulty travelling to other hospitals and the impact that would have on survival and recovery rates.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said there were 2,366 responses to the consultation.

Image caption The ongoing emergency department closure has been opposed by campaign groups

The CCG is proposing to add GPs to the A&E team, and to improve the process for them to directly admit people into a hospital bed 24 hours a day when urgent and emergency care is required.

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