Joint public statement between the CCG and Weston regarding the temporary overnight closure of A&E at Weston on Tuesday 4 July

Date: 04 Jul 2017

Category: Weston General Hospital

Weston Area Health NHS Trust Board has reviewed plans for the temporary closure of A&E at Weston General Hospital from 10pm-8am following the announcement we made on 14 June in response to the CQC report on our services. Patient safety is our number one priority and the driver behind this decision.

The local health system has been working very hard to put in place the right plans to ensure patients that need emergency treatment during the night are treated safely at an alternative neighbouring A&E.  Today, the Board has been reassured of the robust arrangements in place.

Additionally, a public information campaign is in place to provide clear information to the public about what to do should they need urgent or emergency care during the night and we would ask everyone to help us in promoting these messages to the public and patients through the channels and networks available. More details here.

This is a temporary measure and no permanent changes to Weston’s A&E services or any other services in the hospital will be taken without a full public consultation.

Between the hours of 8am and 10pm the A&E will be open as normal and all other hospital services remain unaffected.

Overnight services will remain closed until we as a system are confident we can deliver a safe and sustainable service throughout the night.  

We know we have ongoing challenges with recruiting the right number of permanent doctors needed to fully staff an A&E team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in particular, to have sufficient doctors to staff a rota with overnight duties to ensure we can run the service safely at night. 

Whilst we are doing all we can to recruit permanent staff, we recognise that we  need to look at different ways to provide overnight services such as developing a new model of care, in order to be able to deliver this.

We are working already with our staff, NHS partners, commissioners, regulators and local communities to develop a long-term solution to our ongoing challenges with A&E.  Our goal is to make sure local people can access safe, high quality, sustainable urgent and emergency care services from wherever they live in North Somerset.

Our focus to date, quite rightly, has been on ensuring robust arrangements are in place to ensure patients that need emergency treatment at night are treated safely at an alternative neighbouring A&E.

If patients need urgent but not emergency care, the most appropriate care can be accessed locally 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.

Our priority now and for the short term is to continue to work in collaboration with the local health system to develop our overnight service model so that we can reopen overnight services at Weston A&E as soon as possible.

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