1. ITV Report

No set date for reopening Weston General A&E department overnight

Campaigners wore Christmas jumpers and sang carols. Credit: ITV West Country

The NHS Trust in charge of Weston General Hospital says there is no anticipated date for reopening the Accident and Emergency department overnight.

Protestors held a candlelit vigil outside the hospital ahead of a board meeting this morning.

The A&E department has been closing between 10pm and 8am since July due to staffing issues.

Protestors held a candlelit vigil outside the hospital. Credit: ITV West Country

In a statement, Weston Area Health NHS Trust says while it is making progress with recruitment, it would still be potentially unsafe to reopen the department.

Patient safety is our priority. We can confirm that there is no anticipated date for reopening our A&E overnight as it is wholly reliant on our ability to recruit enough permanent A&E doctors and nurses to safely staff the department.

Good progress is being made with recruitment, but new doctors and nurses also require lengthy training and supervision until they are able to work independently. We have to be assured that staffing levels are safe and very importantly that they are sustainable. We could not be in a position where we lifted the temporary overnight closure but found ourselves back in a position of having inadequate and unsafe staffing a short time later.

We will keep the public fully up to date on progress and when firm plans or decisions are made we will share these widely with the public.

Meanwhile North Somerset CCG’s Healthy Weston programme continues which aims to build a strong and vibrant future both for Weston General Hospital and our A&E department.

– Weston Area Health NHS Trust statement