The March at the Grand Pier
The March at the Grand Pier

Hello everyone, Thanks for supporting the rally today, Weston General’s A&E Department, and your NHS.  We estimate ther were in excess of 300 people today standing up for the A&E.

Today we were there to let Weston Area Health Trust, Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire Care Commissioning Group, and the Government know that we will not stand for this ongoing threat to OUR Accident and Emergency Department.

We we’re pleased to take a stand with #SaveWestonAandE, Protect our NHS North Somerset, North Somerset and Weston Trades Council, Unite, Unison, USDAW, PCS, Weston Liberal Democrat Party, and The Green Party

I am sorry to say that despite being inviting our local Conservative MPs, Dr. Liam Fox and John Penrose, decided not to attend.

Analysis from The Labour Party shows that if Theresa May oversees a collapse on the same scale as last year, 10,000 people will be waiting more than 4 hours for A&E every day, with hundreds of operations cancelled and waiting lists growing.

Last year, Theresa May stuck her head in the sand and refused to give the NHS the money it needed to keep services running properly.

This decision has pushed NHS staff beyond their limits and caused misery for patients in every part of the country. It can’t be allowed to continue.

We are calling for OUR Accident and Emergency Department at Weston General Hospital to be re-opened as a 24/7 fully functioning department, able to cope with major trauma.

North Somerset and Weston-super Mare has a population of around 225,000 people, served by Weston General Hospital.  Estimates are that this area could see as many as 40 to 50, 000 people more living here in the next 25 years.  These new residents will mostly be young families with children and the elderly, two groups that rely on a good NHS service.

As a matter of comparison Bath and North East Somerset has a population of around 200,000, yet we don’t see the A and E at the Royal United Hospital being closed or threatened.

At the moment our A and E is not a 24/7 service it is a 14/7 service.  Our A and E is closed from 10pm to 8am.  Overnight our area is covered by just 2 Ambulances.

If you have the misfortune to be taken ill at night you will be transported to Southmead, the BRI, The Bristol Children’s Hospital or Musgrove Park.  These hospitals are themselves facing cuts and as a result the additional load the overnight closure of Weston’s A and E is placing on them is stretching their services to breaking point.

We have been told that the A and E in Weston closed due to safety concerns over the staffing levels in the department.  What has happened since the closure is that a senior Emergency Medicine Consultant and a significant number of specialist Emergency Department nurses have left the hospital, so staffing levels have deteriorated further due to the so called “temporary closure”  It is our very real fear that this closure is anything but temporary and that we may never see a fully operational 24/7 A and E in Weston General Hospital in the foreseeable future under the current Government.

We want the Health Trust and the CCG to provide the Emergency Medicine delivery that this area, the fastest growing in Europe, requires.

It is not acceptable for the Government, WHAT, and the CCG to stumble into crisis after crisis they’ve been well warned and need to take action now”.

 The underfunding of the NHS over the last 7 years has been catastrophic for both nurses and patients.

Our NHS, now faces a 40,000 shortfall of nurses because of reduction of training places, seven years of capped pay, and the scrapping of the nurses' bursary.

Our country must bring back the nurses’ training bursary and give nurses the pay rise they deserve, if we are to combat the current recruitment crisis.

Locally we have a serious shortage of GPs, and this area also suffers underfunding of Social Services.  These are two major pressure factors on our Accident and Emergency Service.  People who cannot see a GP are reporting to A and E as a first resort, and people being let down by Social Services are leaning on Accident and Emergency to try to get the help they need.

We must see a greater degree of cooperation between the NHS and Social Services, and an commensurate increase in the funding of Social Services to better allow the management of people flowing through our hospitals and to free up beds for acutely ill patients.

We must also see a complete change in how we approach mental health services in North Somerset, our local provision of Psychologists and Psychiatrists is well below what is required, this is especially true in Children’s Mental Health Care, as I said this puts extra pressure on the A&E and the already over stretched and underfunded Hospital

We must protect our country’s most precious of assets.


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