Have your say on services at Weston General Hospital

Local people in North Somerset are invited to have their say on emerging ideas to build a strong future for Weston General Hospital.


Today, 09 February 2017, NHS North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, working with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, are launching an eight week period of engagement to help shape future services at Weston General Hospital.


Weston General Hospital is a crucial part of local NHS in the south west; it is also part of a wider network of health and care services across Bristol, Somerset and South Gloucestershire and plays an important in the emergency and urgent care network.


However, in common with hospitals throughout the region and nationally, services at Weston General face increasing demand from a growing and ageing population.


In addition to this as the smallest acute hospital trust in England it is struggling to keep up with growing demand for services and faces particular challenges in being able to recruit and retain doctors in certain specialties.


Dr Mary Backhouse, Local GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS North Somerset CCG, which is responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the local population, explained:


“Weston General Hospital is a crucial part of the local NHS but it faces particular challenges because of its size.


“As a local GP I hear first-hand from patients and carers about their experiences of services. I am absolutely convinced we need to look at making changes to the way services are run to enable us to continue delivering high quality care in the future.


“There are no easy answers to this but alongside local doctors and nurses, we’ve started developing some outline ideas on how things could look in the future and we want to hear what you think.”


James Rimmer, Chief Executive Weston Area Health NHS Trust said


“This is the next step in building a strong future for Weston General as a crucial part of the NHS in the south west and a hospital that offers emergency and urgent care for the region.


“We have caring staff who are absolutely committed to patient care and a hospital with good resources that we need to make the most of. This engagement process is about shaping some of our services and working in partnership across the region so that we can continue to provide excellent care for decades to come.


“These ideas have been put together with some of our doctors, nurses and other staff both at the hospital and across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire region. We want to know what our staff and public think and we look forward to hearing people’s ideas, views and comments so that we can develop these ideas further.”


Working with health and social care partners the CCG have developed a number of ideas that they are confident will help secure the future of the hospital but they are not fixed plans and we want to know what you think.


There are four main ideas that have been developed using insight from patients and the public and brings together feedback from public engagement activities, local surveys and local health scrutiny committees, and information collated from ‘friends and family’ test data, patient complaints and Care Quality Commission reports.


These ideas include:


  • Change the A&E service model overnight from 10pm – 8am. There would be no change to the emergency department during the day. The only proposed change would be overnight, when fewer patients use the service. An emergency and urgent care service would continue to operate from Weston General Hospital but a small number of patients who need specialist care overnight would be treated at larger hospitals nearby
  • Bring day to day non-complex planned operations back to Weston General Hospital making best use of the hospital and its potential to treat more patients and make it easier for local people to access services closer to where they live.
  • Transfer some emergency surgery to other hospitals. Only a  small number of patients need emergency surgery – particularly overnight - and  it may be better for them to be treated in a hospital with more beds and specialist teams
    • Increase the number of beds in the critical care unit developing a bigger unit of intensive care and high dependency beds. This would bring patients who needed the most care together in one place and the existing five bed unit is smaller than experts advise to run an efficient service.


You can read more about these ideas on our website www.northsomersetccg.nhs.uk/wgh-engagement.


The engagement period takes place from 9 February 2017 until 6 April 2017.


For further details about North Somerset CCG, please visit www.northsomersetccg.nhs.uk or follow the CCG on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NSomersetCCG.