Weston’s MP welcomes local doctors’ support for revised Healthy Weston plans, and tells protesters “Stop playing politics with local patients’ health”

Weston MP John Penrose has welcomed recently-released Weston Hospital Board papers which show the newly-revised ‘Healthy Weston’ plans for the future of Weston hospital and local healthcare have been backed by local GPs, hospital doctors and the hospital Board. 

He has also welcomed the updated plans, which now include ideas proposed by the hospital consultants. The new plans will mean:

·         24/7 emergency admissions to Weston hospital

·         24/7 treatment for non-emergencies from an upgraded GP service

·         Weston hospital will become bigger in future, treating more patients (particularly children) for a wider range of problems than today.

John said “Weston is a growing town, so a bigger hospital with 24/7 emergency admissions, and 24/7 non-emergency treatment from an upgraded GP service all make sense. But local Labour, LibDem and Green politicians are playing politics, rather than accepting that doctors know best. They want to send non-emergency patients to the hospital’s accident and emergency department in the middle of the night, rather than seeing a GP.

“Weston’s message to them is simple: if the doctors support the new plan, why do you think you know better? Stop playing politics with local patients’ health. Back off Weston hospital, and back the plan.”

Quotes From Medical Professionals:

·         Dr John Heather, Clinical Director of Pier Health Group (a super-partnership of Weston’s GP practices), said: “[We] support the proposals contained within the Health Weston consultation and the broader objectives of the programme.”

·         Trauma and Orthopaedic Consultants say, “[the plan] with the current proposed modifications, is a reasonable basis to commence planning of services for the future.”

·         General Surgery Consultants identified immediate and potential future advantages of 24/7 emergency admissions, saying: “It was unanimously agreed that we would wish to implement the introduction of an overnight on-call surgical registrar/middle-grade doctor [….] in the same way as our orthopaedic colleagues have been doing successfully for some time.”

·         Emergency Medical Consultants say, “At present we couldn’t staff the ED overnight […]. Our staffing numbers are not at this time robust enough. It would put at risk gains we have made in improving patient care.”

·         Dr Leilah Dare, Regional Clinical Advisor for the Southwest, NHS Improvement and NHS England, said, “This model, should it go ahead would enable Weston to be at the forefront of how to deliver Emergency care in a smaller hospital in a safe and sustainable way,” she added that with parts of the plans already being introduced, “Weston is ahead of the game in terms of its provision for frailty.”

·         Weston Hospital Board went through all points of the plans in their official response and gave support to all proposals, with comments ranging from “important” to “a strong enhancement” other than proposals for Weston’s Intensive Care Unit, which they wanted to enhance. The revised plans have now been altered to accept this point.

·         A link to the Weston Hospital Board papers can be found here:  https://bnssgccg-media.ams3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/attachments/govbody_6Aug19_item6.3.pdf