BBC NEWS: Trainee doctors to return to Weston Hospital after significant improvements

Trainee doctors will return to Weston General Hospital from August.

Health officials removed 10 junior doctor posts from the Somerset hospital in 2021 due to “unacceptable” working conditions.

But a recent review by NHS England and the General Medical Council (GMC) has reported “significant improvements”.

Dr Geoff Smith from NHS England said: “There remains work to be continued with the trust but we are confident in their plans.”

Mr Smith said the hospital had “significantly improved the experience and education of doctors in training, which we know is so important to patients getting high quality, safe care now and in the future”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) previously said staff at Weston General Hospital felt senior managers were not “visible, supportive or approachable”.

Health Education England said junior staff “frequently” lacked support.

But a positive review in March found that previously raised concerns had been addressed.

This included improved staff engagement with the trust leadership, improvements in clinical supervision, and a marked improvement in the learning environment and culture.

Dr Smith said the trust would “work closely with local managers and the General Medical Council to ensure all trainees are fully supported in their return and beyond”.

Professor Colin Melville from the GMC said: “The trust has made positive strides in addressing our serious concerns about supervision of doctors in training and support for them on understaffed wards.

“We will continue to monitor training closely to make sure our required high standards are met to maintain the safety of patients and doctors.”

Weston MP John Penrose added: “A lot of people were worried about our hospital’s long-term future when Weston lost these training posts, so getting them back is an important step, and a tribute to all the staff who have worked so hard to deal with the problems which worried the inspectors last time.”