The consultants’ body has developed a plan which would see inpatient teams supporting emergency doctors which would enable the A&E to reopen permanently.
The hospital’s A & E department was closed overnight temporarily in July 2017 due to a lack of staff and concerns for patients’ safety.
Members of the public have been campaigning for it to reopen ever since and Consultant Surgeon Dr Pye confirmed the hospital has now recruited enough doctors to sufficiently support the A&E.
Professor Parag Singhal, consultant endocrinologist, said the model could be a trend-setter and provide a way to save around 30 hospitals in the UK where A&Es are under threat.
The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is leading the Health Weston reforms, released five potential models for the hospital – with only one providing around-the-clock emergency care.
Alternative options include a 14-hour-a-day consultant-led A&E, as it is now, a 14-hour consultant and GP-led A&E, a medical centre led by GPs or a GP-led urgent treatment centre.
However, the consultants’ body has raised serious concerns about the proposals which they say would represent a gamble to the South West’s hospitals.
The consultants’ model is supported by Weston Town Council which urged the CCG to consider the proposal.
Central Ward Councillor Richard Nightingale said, ‘It has been a pleasure to work with the consultant body from Weston General Hospital and I also welcome todays promise from NHS Clinical Commissioning Group of dialogue with them. Their model delivers 24/7 quality Accident and Emergency care for residents in a safe environment, within the staffing resources available, and could provide a resolution to the current A&E overnight closure. Weston super Mare Town council has made it clear that this proposal must be consider and consulted on with residents. In my view, if the CCG fails to include this proposal for consideration, they will be letting the residents of Weston down.’