Local residents are being invited to have their say on NHS proposals to create a stronger and more focused Weston Hospital at the heart of the local community.
The Healthy Weston public consultation, launched on 13 February, follows 18 months of public engagement and discussion on the future of the hospital that has involved dozens of public meetings and hundreds of conversations with local people. The proposals – developed by doctors, in partnership with local people and hospital staff - are designed to better serve the needs of everyone in the local area, including a growing number of frail older people, young families with children, and people affected by mental illness.
Under the proposals, 24/7 urgent and emergency care would continue to be provided at Weston Hospital, but in a different way. The current temporary A&E opening times of 8am to 10pm would be made permanent, supported by an improved out-of-hours service and with more patients admitted directly onto wards overnight via GP referral. The proposals out for formal consultation also feature changes to the levels of emergency surgery and critical care that can be provided at Weston Hospital.
The proposals are supported by a range of improvements to local services, including plans to provide more routine surgery, such as knee and hip operations, at Weston Hospital. They also include enhancements to services for frail and older people, children’s urgent care services, mental health services and primary care (GP services) in the Weston and Worle area.
Local GP and Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Martin Jones said:
We want a 21st century NHS for people in Weston and the surrounding areas and that means providing more of the services people need most often. While urgent and emergency care would continue to be provided for local people around the clock, we would also be offering more planned surgery and chemotherapy, so that people don’t have to travel as far for their regular treatment.
Our longer term vision is for a local health and care service that is integrated, responsive and fully reflective of local people’s needs. For example, we have more young families moving to the area, so it’s important that we increase the provision of specialist children’s urgent care.
We also have a large number of people over the age of 70 in the area, and so we are developing a new frailty service that will ensure older people get the right care from mixed teams of doctors, nurses, therapists and social care workers – both in the hospital, but increasingly in the community. We believe that together these changes will help us deliver the high-quality services we need now and in the future, and I hope everyone with an interest in the local NHS will take the time to share their views with us.
The public consultation runs until midday on Friday 24 May 2019 and copies of the consultation document will be available at local GP practices, pharmacies, libraries and community centres.
A number of public engagement events and roadshows will also be held providing further opportunities to hear more about the proposals and share views.
Details of further events will be published on the Healthy Weston pages of the Healthier Together website. No decisions on the future shape of services will be made until later this year.