More than 3,000 people and organisations shared their views in the Healthy Weston consultation which was carried out over the summer to consider the future of services at Weston Hospital.
NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG has stated it will consider the feedback received during the consultation when planning the next steps in managing services.
Overall, about two thirds of responses supported the CCG’s proposals related to critical care and emergency surgery to some extent, although there were concerns related to the safety and inconvenience of travel to other hospitals for patients and their loved ones.
Two thirds of the responses were against the CCG’s proposal related to making the temporary overnight closure of A&E at Weston permanent.Around two thirds supporting suggestions about having GPs working alongside A&E teams and more direct admissions to a hospital bed for urgent care.
The main areas of concern about the proposal for A&E opening hours were that it may not take into account the potential level of need for an A&E overnight, and travel and safety issues if the A&E was not available overnight.
The main themes that those who responded to the consultation wanted the CCG to consider were: ·
- ensuring that any change accounted for the large and growing population of the area, including the elderly, those living in rural areas, those who visited on holiday and the housing developments planned.
- ensuring that any change addressed concerns about the distance to other hospitals. This included the impact that traveling whilst unwell could have on patient outcomes, anxiety and inconvenience for family members, limited public transport, difficulty returning home after discharge from a hospital elsewhere, travel costs and environmental impacts
- whether there were enough ambulances and capacity in other hospitals to implement the proposals
- whether there were enough GPs to support the proposals without affecting usual primary care · whether the population numbers, travel times, ambulance capacity and other data relied on when developing proposals was accurate.