Joint public statement between the CCG and Weston Hospital

On 7 November 2017, the Board of Weston Area Health NHS Trust has conducted a comprehensive two monthly review of the temporary overnight closure of A&E.

This is in addition to daily monitoring that takes place across the region to review the numbers of patients affected.


Patient safety remains our priority.  The Trust Board and the CCG Governing Body can confirm that the local NHS continues to manage well. Both Boards remain confident that plans to ensure patients needing emergency treatment during the night are treated safely at an alternative neighbouring A&E are working well and patients are receiving safe care.


The A&E at Weston General Hospital is open as normal between 8am – 10pm, which is when 80% of patients use it. Numbers of patients affected by the overnight temporary closure remains in line with expectations:

  • around 2-3 people per night have attended other A&E departments themselves,
  • around 7-8 people per night have been taken by ambulance to other A&E departments
  • around 4-5 patients per night have been admitted to either the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Southmead Hospital in Bristol or Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.


Patients needing urgent but not emergency care can access the most appropriate care for them from out of hours community health care providers and the out-of-hours GP service  by ringing 111.  Anyone with an immediate life-threatening condition should call 999, as they would now.


Overnight services will remain closed until we as a system are confident that safe and sustainable staffing levels are in place throughout the night. Whilst Weston General Hospital is making progress with recruiting the numbers of permanent doctors needed to safely run the service at night, and continues to do all it can, it remains challenging and the A&E department will therefore not reopen overnight in the short term.


Alongside intensive efforts to recruit, we are also working on developing alternatives ways that will allow us to treat some patients overnight without the need to admit them to A&E.  For example, patients with certain conditions, such as a fractured hip, or medical conditions such as chest infections, could be admitted directly to a ward in the hospital, without needing to go to A&E.


This work is complex, involving identifying both the services required and the number and type of staff needed to provide these services safely.  It will take time to get right and we will provide an update on our progress when this work has reached its completion.


Looking to the future, together with the North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, our ambition is to create a sustainable acute hospital which remains at the heart of the community and provides the services it is best placed to do in order to meet the needs of the local people.  


The recently published vision Healthy Weston: joining up services for better care in Weston sets out an expanded role for Weston General Hospital at the centre of a ‘Care Campus’, providing more services in a local community setting. This will mean health and social care professionals including GPs, mental health, social care staff and volunteers working more closely on the hospital site and alongside hospital staff together to meet the needs of local people. 

Healthy Weston will address the long term future of A&E by looking at alternative ways of offering care locally to patients traditionally seen in A&E, and at the types of urgent and emergency services best provided by Weston or by another hospital nearby that are clinically and financially sustainable.


The CCG is running a series of events over the coming weeks to gather views from health and care partners, staff, stakeholders, patients and the public on the future for health and care services for people in Weston-super-Mare, Worle, Winscombe and the surrounding villages of the south rurals.


For more information and to get involved, visit


We remain committed to ensuring people in North Somerset have access to safe, high quality, sustainable urgent and emergency care services, as close to home as possible.


The overnight closure of Weston A&E remains a temporary measure. No permanent changes to A&E services will be taken without a full public consultation.



Julia Ross                                                        James Rimmer

Chief Executive, NHS Bristol,                        Chief Executive, Weston Area Health NHS Trust
North Somerset & South
Gloucestershire CCGS