Close of Healthy Weston consultation

The Healthy Weston consultation ended at noon on Friday 14 June 2019.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their views with us. All the feedback will now be analysed by an independent organisation and a report will be produced to be considered fully by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

We will publish this report on our website and make sure that people know when it is available to view. The report will cover:

  • Major themes from the consultation.
  • A summary of the responses about the different elements of our proposals.
  • An overview of the process.
  • An explanation of how the final decisions will be taken (including dates of meetings in public) and a timeline for implementing the chosen option.
  • How the CCG intends to address the views, feedback, comments, ideas and concerns that people raise.

The CCG’s Governing Body will meet in public to report back on the consultation, consider all the evidence in full and make a decision about the future of services at Weston General Hospital.


Views still welcome on Healthy Weston consultation

Local people are being urged to give their views on proposals to improve healthcare in and around Weston as the formal consultation enters its final week.

The Healthy Weston consultation, which will end at noon on Friday 14 June 2019, has already received more than 1,300 responses but Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG) is stressing the importance of local people giving their views before the deadline.

The consultation sets out a series of proposals designed to address challenges to healthcare in the area.

“It’s great that so many residents have had their say already, but it’s really important that as many people as possible take part and share their views on these important proposals,” said Dr Martin Jones, a GP at a Bournville practice, and Medical Director at BNSSG. “As well as direct responses to the consultation, we have also met over 2,500 people at various Healthy Weston events including the larger public events and community outreach meetings.”

“Several key issues have been raised consistently since the consultation began. These include travel to neighbouring hospitals, the status of proposals coming forward from some consultants at the hospital, and concern over the availability of 24/7 urgent and emergency care at the hospital."

“We have set up a Travel Working Group to respond to concerns and emphasised that 24/7 urgent and emergency care will still be provided at the hospital but in a different way."

“We have been meeting with the consultants on a regular basis and their proposals have been evaluated by an independent group of senior clinicians. Whilst they did not score as highly against the same criteria as the proposals already developed, they contained some really good ideas which we are hoping to take forward together."

“Once the consultation closes this Friday, every single response will be considered and independently evaluated before any final decision is taken,” he added

The CCG has held 18 public events across North Somerset and northern Sedgemoor since mid-February as well as meetings with NHS staff, community groups and voluntary organisations.

The last public event will take place on Thursday 13 June at 6.30pm at Weston-super-Mare Football Club, and contributions can also be made by completing an online survey.

People wishing to give their views can also write direct to Freepost HEALTHY WESTON or email bnssg.healthyweston.enquiries@nhs.net

The Healthy Weston proposals being consulted on were developed by doctors, in partnership with local people and hospital staff and are designed to better serve the needs of everyone in the local area, including a growing number of frail older people, young families with children, and people affected by mental illness.

Under the proposals, 24/7 urgent and emergency care would continue to be provided at Weston Hospital, but in a different way.

The current temporary A&E opening times of 8am to 10pm would be made permanent, supported by an improved out-of-hours service and with more patients admitted directly onto wards overnight via GP referral.

The proposals out for formal consultation also feature changes to the levels of emergency surgery and critical care that can be provided at Weston Hospital.

The proposals are supported by a range of improvements to local services, including plans to provide more routine surgery, such as knee and hip operations, at Weston Hospital.

They also include enhancements to services for frail and older people, children’s urgent care services, mental health services and primary care (GP services) in the Weston and Worle area.

Come to the public event at Weston-super-Mare Football Club

Complete the online survey


Healthy Weston consultation extended

The Healthy Weston consultation has been extended to midday on Friday 14 June 2019 as a result of the election purdah period covering the local and European elections.

We have rescheduled a series of public meetings at which local people will have the opportunity to hear about and discuss our proposals to join up services for better care in Weston-super-Mare, Worle and surrounding areas.

The upcoming public meetings are listed below:

Tuesday 28th May, 6.30 – 8.30pm. The Campus, Worle

Thursday 30th May, 7 – 9pm. Nailsea Methodist Church

Tuesday 4th June, 7 – 9pm. Clevedon Community Centre & Princes Hall, Clevedon

Thursday 6th June, 6.30 – 8.30pm. Somerset Hall, Portishead

Thursday 13th June, 6.30 – 8.30pm. Weston-super-Mare Football Club

Book your place

Complete our online survey


Positive patient reaction to digital 'Ask My GP'

Patients from across Weston-super-Mare have given a thumbs-up to a new digital system called askmyGP that allows patients to contact and get advice from their GPs online.

Six GP practices are currently using the new system which launched locally in January and plans are in hand to roll it out across more practices over the coming weeks.

Initial feedback from patients has been very positive so far.

Over 70% of the 889 of patients who responded to a survey were impressed with the speed of the system, with around two thirds feeling it was easy to use and solved their problem.

“The initial feedback from patients has been really encouraging,” said Dr John Heather, GP at New Court Surgery, which has implemented the system. “We want to make it easier for patients to access the right service for their needs.”

One Weston practice manager was able to describe a particular example of how the new system had worked for a patient.

“At around 11.25am an online request arrived from a worried mother for her seven week old baby.  Having reviewed it, we called her at 11.30am and asked if she was able to attend an appointment at 11.50am.  The result was her child was seen 25 minutes later.

“Although it’s early days, we’ve found that we have been freeing up appointment slots that used to be taken up by requests for general advice or those who insisted on being seen by a GP.

“Our reception team is loving it already and our clinical colleagues are able to organise their own clinics and message those patients they are offering advice to.

“It is fantastic being able to offer the service that we did for the seven week old baby and be able to see those patients who really need to be seen, rather than those who get through first.”

Using askmyGP, patients can contact their practice on the day they require an appointment and depending on their need, they will either be given self-help advice, have their request dealt with over the phone or by email, or be offered an appointment with a GP or healthcare professional.

The online service also means patients can avoid unnecessary visits to their practice as a GP or health professional may be able to help over the phone, by secure message or by using a video link.

askmyGP is part of programme of work called the Intensive Support Scheme (ISS), which is being undertaken by NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG was awarded £400,000 by NHS England to work with Weston and Worle GP practices to support GP retention and help improve services for patients in Weston, Worle, Banwell and Winscombe as part of the Healthy Weston programme.

The Weston and Worle area is one of only seven ISS sites created across the country, and secured the funding due to greater number of GPs and nurses nearing retirement age, the ratio of patients to GPs, and the long-term recruitment and retention problems.


Dr Martin Jones interview about the Healthy Weston proposals

Dr Martin Jones, clinical director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG, was recently interviewed by Tom Wright, editor of the Weston Mercury, about the Healthy Weston proposals.

In the wide ranging interview, Dr Jones explains the proposals for Weston Hospital, how 24/7 urgent and emergency care will be delivered in a different way and why health services need to change. He also describes the planned improvements to children’s and mental health provision as well as describing how services for the older and more frail would be improved.

 


Have your say on Healthy Weston hospital proposals

Local residents are being invited to have their say on NHS proposals to create a stronger and more focused Weston Hospital at the heart of the local community.

The public consultation, launched today (13 February), follows 18 months of public engagement and discussion on the future of the hospital that has involved dozens of public meetings and hundreds of conversations with local people. The proposals – developed by doctors, in partnership with local people and hospital staff - are designed to better serve the needs of everyone in the local area, including a growing number of frail older people, young families with children, and people affected by mental illness.

Under the proposals, 24/7 urgent and emergency care would continue to be provided at Weston Hospital, but in a different way. The current temporary A&E opening times of 8am to 10pm would be made permanent, supported by an improved out-of-hours service and with more patients admitted directly onto wards overnight via GP referral. The proposals out for formal consultation also feature changes to the levels of emergency surgery and critical care that can be provided at Weston Hospital.

The proposals are supported by a range of improvements to local services, including plans to provide more routine surgery, such as knee and hip operations, at Weston Hospital. They also include enhancements to services for frail and older people, children’s urgent care services, mental health services and primary care (GP services) in the Weston and Worle area.

Local GP and Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Martin Jones said: “We want a 21st century NHS for people in Weston and the surrounding areas and that means providing more of the services people need most often.

“While urgent and emergency care would continue to be provided for local people around the clock, we would also be offering more planned surgery and chemotherapy, so that people don’t have to travel as far for their regular treatment.

“Our longer term vision is for a local health and care service that is integrated, responsive and fully reflective of local people’s needs. For example, we have more young families moving to the area, so it’s important that we increase the provision of specialist children’s urgent care.

“We also have a large number of people over the age of 70 in the area, and so we are developing a new frailty service that will ensure older people get the right care from mixed teams of doctors, nurses, therapists and social care workers – both in the hospital, but increasingly in the community.

“We believe that together these changes will help us deliver the high-quality services we need now and in the future, and I hope everyone with an interest in the local NHS will take the time to share their views with us.”

The public consultation runs until midday on Friday 24 May 2019 and copies of the consultation document will be available at local GP practices, pharmacies, libraries and community centres.

A number of public engagement events and roadshows will also be held providing further opportunities to hear more about the proposals and share views.

Details of further events will be published on this website. No decisions on the future shape of services will be made until later this year.

Read the consultation document

Find out about public events

Online survey


Consultation date set for Healthy Weston proposals

Proposals to reform urgent and emergency care services at Weston General Hospital, as part of the Healthy Weston programme to enhance and transform healthcare services in Weston and the surrounding area, will proceed to full public consultation the Governing Body of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) confirmed on 5 February.

Governing Body members approved plans to formally consult on three specific proposals for changes to services at Weston Hospital focused on urgent and emergency care provision, critical care and emergency surgery.

The 14-week consultation will launch on 13 February, when members of the public will also be invited to share their views on a range of related proposals for service improvements in the Weston and Worle area. These include developing an acute frailty service to enhance the care of older adults; developing an improved mental health service including new crisis support provision in the centre of Weston; and extending coverage for children’s urgent and emergency care from five to seven days a week.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG Medical Director and local GP, Dr Martin Jones, said: “We need a genuine 21st Century service that meets the needs of our patients now and in the future, and we believe our proposals will achieve that.

“These proposals are the outcome of an 18-month programme of work which has involved thousands of individual patients, staff and members of the public in Weston and the surrounding areas.

“We’ve very grateful to everyone who has worked with us get to this point and I urge everyone with an interest to get involved once the consultation launches, by sharing their views and feedback with us.”

The consultation will run from 13 February until 24 May.

Full details of the proposals can be viewed on the CCG website.

Further information about the consultation, including consultation documents, will be published on the Healthier Together site on 13th February 2019.


NHS leaders set out vision for vibrant Weston Hospital at the heart of local health services

The NHS in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is today publishing proposals to reform urgent and emergency care services at Weston General Hospital, as well as setting out a longer term vision for its future as a thriving hospital at the heart of the community.

The proposals respond to long-standing challenges, including difficulties in recruiting sufficient numbers of clinical staff, which led to the temporary overnight closure of A&E in July 2017. Expert doctors, health professionals and others have been designing and assessing a range of options over the last 18 months, all with the aim of ensuring that services are high-quality and fit for the future. They have now recommended a ‘preferred option’ that if agreed next week, will proceed to public consultation later in February.

Under the proposal, which the Governing Body of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will consider next week, the hospital would continue to provide round-the-clock access to urgent and emergency care for everyone in the area. Weston’s A&E would operate between 8am and 10pm seven days per week, boosted by a strengthened GP out-of-hours service and more direct admissions onto hospital wards overnight via GP referral.

The most serious emergency cases – for example, head injuries and heart attacks – would continue to be transferred to specialist centres at neighbouring hospitals in Bristol and Taunton, as has always been the case. The proposals also feature changes to the levels of emergency surgery and critical care that can be provided at Weston General.

Alongside immediate changes to urgent and emergency care, the wider vision for change includes plans to develop Weston General Hospital as a centre of excellence for frailty.  An innovative new service would provide joined-up care for older people, reducing unnecessarily lengthy stays in hospital and improving health outcomes.

An extended service for acutely unwell children is also proposed, alongside more planned surgery and increased access to specialist outpatient services, such as cancer treatment. A new crisis recovery service would be located in the centre of Weston, providing much needed support for people with mental health needs.

Dr Martin Jones, a local GP and Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG said:

“We need a genuine 21st Century service that meets the needs of our patients now and in the future, and we believe our proposals will achieve that.

“The preferred option we are putting forward has been shaped by doctors, health and care professionals and the public. It will allow us to deliver 24-hour urgent and emergency care in the most effective way, with a boosted out-of-hours service and greater opportunity for GPs to admit patients directly onto wards overnight.

“We know that staff at the hospital do a fantastic job every day, yet Weston Hospital is unable to meet national clinical quality standards across all its services. We also have a shortage of specialist staff available for some services and it’s vital we address this, and put the hospital on a sustainable footing.

“Our longer term vision is for a local health and care service that is integrated, responsive and fully reflective of local people’s needs. For example, we have more young families moving to the area, so it’s important that we increase the provision of specialist children’s urgent care.

“We also have a large number of people over the age of 70 in the area, and so we are developing a new frailty service that will ensure older people get the right care from mixed teams of doctors, nurses, therapists and social care workers – both in the hospital, but increasingly in the community.”

Dr Peter Collins, Medical Director at Weston Area Health Trust, said:

”This is an exciting opportunity to transform services at the hospital, for the benefit of all our patients.

“These proposals, developed by clinicians, would allow us to continue to deliver the care people need most often at Weston General.  The vast majority of current services and treatments would continue to be provided at the hospital at the times of day they are most in demand.

“We need to be able to attract and retain key staff to work here, and the way to do that is by becoming a centre of excellence.

“It’s also crucial that we provide local people and our staff with greater clarity and certainty about the future. I hope that staff and the public will take the opportunity to share their views during the consultation period.”

The CCG’s Governing Body will consider the recommendation at its February meeting. If approved for consultation, this would begin later in February, with a range of ways for the public to have their say. The CCG confirmed last week that it will be working closely with Weston Hospital consultants on their suggested model, and that further engagement with the clinicians would be arranged throughout any consultation period.


CCG and Weston consultants pledge to work together

Joint statement from Dr Martin Jones, Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG and Mr Adekoyejo Odutola, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon and Chair of Weston Hospital Medical Advisory Committee.

Both the CCG and the consultant body recognise the clear need to deliver health and care services differently - including hospital services - as our population grows and health needs change. We are all committed to ensuring the very best possible care for people across Weston, Worle, Winscombe and the surrounding areas including North Sedgemoor.

As part of the Healthy Weston programme, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG will be launching a public consultation on proposals to change and improve local health services in the coming weeks. The proposal developed by the consultant body for delivering urgent and emergency services will be fully considered, as will any further suggestions for improvement that the public, staff and stakeholders might have. There are clear evaluation criteria in place to assess any proposals, which have been established to prioritise safety, quality and sustainability.

We have found through our recent constructive discussions, that there are key similarities between the model proposed by consultants and the options the CCG has been putting together over the last 18 months alongside clinicians, health professionals and others. For example, we all want to explore the potential to admit more patients directly onto wards overnight where appropriate, reduce unnecessary waits and improve access to specialist care.

We look forward to working further together throughout the course of the consultation, and are jointly committed to shaping services that meet local people’s needs now and in the future.


Healthy Weston Programme Update – December 2018

Since our last update in October, doctors and local health leaders have continued their work considering what services the population in Weston-super-Mare, Worle and the surrounding areas needs in the future and how they can best be delivered.  Healthy Weston: why our local health services need to change, has been published which sets out the four key issues that need to be addressed:

  • Our population is growing, getting older, living with more long-term conditions, and there are significant inequalities in health amongst our local communities – people have changing health needs we need to meet
  • There is variation in the way GP, primary and community care teams currently provide care across the area, with some patients finding it more difficult than others to access the right care for example
  • Some of our hospital-based services at Weston are not able to consistently meet national clinical quality standards because of low volumes of particular cases and specialist staffing shortages
  • There is a growing financial gap between rising costs and available funding.  We must live within our means, get best value and make sure we use our available financial resources most effectively to meet the needs of the whole population.

As we have already said, we must make some changes across the local health and care system in order to tackle these issues.

Progress being made

We are continuing to make progress against the three areas of change identified through conversations with staff, patients and local people:

  • Changes we can put in place immediately and are getting on with; such as better support for people in care homes, improving home visiting by GPs, and developing a consistent approach to frailty assessments in the community. A recent example is the £400,000 funding received by eleven GP practices in Weston, Worle, Banwell and Winscombe for the Intensive Support Scheme (ISS) project. This will be used to improve and develop services for patients and improve patient care by improving patient access, providing greater continuity of care and supporting recruitment and retention of GPs and nurses
  • Changes we can implement imminently but require further work; for example, developing a business case to establish a mental health crisis and recovery centre in the centre of Weston,  and better integrating children’s services across different provider organisations
  • Changes that would enable us to ensure we have a strong and focused hospital at Weston, with services that can consistently deliver to the highest clinical quality standards  and are affordable for the long-term within our available funding; for example, developing better multi-agency working and identifying new clinical models and ways to deliver services sustainably.

Designing strong and focused services at Weston General Hospital

As we have previously set out, we are continuing to focus on how we can design strong and sustainable services at Weston hospital, to make sure it can continue to deliver high quality services that best meet local people’s needs into the future.  This includes identifying the services that Weston General Hospital is best placed to provide, and which services may be more effectively provided to local people by one of our neighbouring hospitals or in the community.

Similarly, there may be services currently provided in other places which are better delivered and consolidated in Weston hospital. The issues we face here are common to many communities with smaller hospitals across the country and our ambition is that we make Weston Hospital an exemplar of how services can be designed and delivered sustainably by smaller hospitals in the future.

In our October update, we outlined that clinicians had identified six clinically possible models for further detailed analysis and work because they were distinctive and different enough to be explored, tested, analysed and compared further as part of a rigorous process to identify the best potential way of delivering services.   It is important to emphasise none of these models have been selected for Weston.

Since then, clinicians have applied each model specifically to the needs of people in Weston, looking at current services delivered across Weston-super-Mare, Worle and the surrounding area, the workforce needs and costs of each model and so on.

Work has been ongoing too to describe in detail the different elements of each model, how clinical services would work with each other, what the requirements would be to deliver these services, and to identify which different types of patients with different conditions, or severity of condition, would be treated differently under each model compared to now. Across all the models the vast majority of patients who currently use Weston General Hospital would continue to do so.

In late November we tested our work with the South West Clinical Senate – a group of senior doctors and other health professionals from across the south west region set up to give independent clinical scrutiny, advice and guidance to NHS bodies.  They were supportive of our work to date and gave valuable feedback to inform the next stage of our design work.

On 3rd December, we explained our work and gathered feedback and views from stakeholders and members of the public at several events held in Weston.  You can read about the detail of the work in the event presentation slides.

Ongoing engagement

We are continuing to talk with staff, stakeholders, patients and local communities and listen to their views on our work to date to ensure that concerns, feedback, opportunities and benefits from a range of different perspectives are captured and inform the work as it progresses.

We are running a series of roadshows out in the community, have provided information online and through leaflets and posters in GP surgeries, hospital waiting rooms and community spaces, and launched an online survey to hear what people think.

For further information, please contact us on 0117 900 2655 or by email at bnssg.healthyweston.enquiries@nhs.net.

Next steps

Clinicians are continuing their work to determine the best, most viable, workable options that meet local needs and further detailed analysis is being carried out to enable us to identify the preferred option(s) for public consultation early next year.  We will be meeting with the local authority scrutiny committee and our national regulator NHS England before finalising a detailed business case which CCG Governing Body members will use to decide on options for consultation early next year.

No final decisions have been made on the future of services and won’t be until after a formal public consultation next year.

We will continue to give regular updates on this important work and the progress we are making.