protest held over continuing overnight closure of Weston A&E
in the Burnham-On-Sea area requiring A&E treatment overnight
will continue to have to travel to Bristol or Taunton because Weston
General Hospital remains shut at night despite its recruitment of
hospital, which serves more than 200,000 people in Weston-super-Mare,
Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge and the surrounding areas, is shut between
10pm and 8am each day.
Hospital Trust was forced to shut its Casualty Department in July
to move staff onto its daytime service.
meeting was held at the hospital on Tuesday (November 7th) to discuss
the situation, with a number of protesters also there, as pictured
Trust say they have recruited two extra doctors to the A&E department,
making a total of four - but they need nine.
also have five consultants but need seven, as well as being short
say they are going to keep up the pressure on the trust to recruit
more staff and they are determined to not let the A&E close.
have been told that there is no chance that the overnight A&E
will re-open before Christmas.
hospital is spending £840,000 expanding the building next
to the A&E Department.
will house GPs there to handle non-emergency cases, with the aim
of taking the pressure off A&E, however some protesters say
the work could make it easier for the hospital to argue the A&E
is no longer needed.
MP James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com earlier this year that
"it is hugely concerning that the A&E must close overnight
until more sustainable levels of staffing can be achieved."
He added: "Local health chiefs have reassured me that A&E
admissions at Weston from residents in Somerset - as opposed to
North Somerset - average around four per night and that this can
easily be covered by Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. I also understand
that serious cases that require an ambulance are already mostly
directed to the larger hospitals in Bristol or Taunton."
"Nonetheless, Weston Hospital is popular with those of us who
live in the north western corner of Somerset and so the A&E
must re-open as soon as possible."
will be supporting Weston's MP, John Penrose, in raising the ongoing
challenge we face in clinician recruitment for Somerset's NHS with
Ministers. It is frustrating that yet again, we have the cash but
cannot recruit the staff to spend it on."