BNSSG Healthier Together

Help secure a bright future for Weston General Hospital

20 June 2022

Health leaders are urging local people to get involved in turning ambitious plans for Weston General Hospital into reality.

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals have worked with the public and staff to draw up plans to enhance services and secure Weston’s future as a thriving hospital in the heart of the local community.

And over the next two months, they will be asking the public to help turn the plans into action.

On top of routine, ongoing service development at the Hospital, there is a particular focus on three areas. The Hospital will:

  • become a centre of surgical excellence, providing thousands more planned operations for adults of all ages;
  • become a centre of excellence for older people’s care, with more specialised care for older people, as well as a wide range of services for people of all ages; and
  • help more people go home quickly after going to hospital in an emergency, with a dedicated unit for assessing and treating people quickly.

The hospital will continue to provide A&E services from 8am to 10pm, as it has done for the last five years, and other services such as maternity care, children’s services, cancer care, intensive care and emergency surgery will continue to be provided, and improved, for people of all ages.

Local doctors and healthcare professionals will discuss the plans at a range of public engagement events between 20 June and 14 August.

Weston General Hospital Medical Director Dr Andrew Hollowood said:

“These are exciting times for the hospital. Over the last few years, we’ve been working hard to enhance and improve services and make sure the hospital can meet local people’s health needs, now and in the future. These plans aim to build on that progress and ensure a bright future for Weston General Hospital.

“More than 5,000 patients, public and members of staff helped to shape these plans and we’re now asking for people’s help in turning them into a reality.

“Over the next eight weeks we will be going out to meet people and hear their ideas and suggestions as we refine the plans. There will be lots of opportunities to have your say including online, by post and in person at a range of local engagement events.”

Enhancements to planned (‘elective’) operations are a key part of the plans. The hospital will become a centre for surgical excellence, meaning that more adults of any age can have a planned operation at the hospital, closer to home. It’s estimated that between 20 and 114 more procedures could be carried out each day, the equivalent of thousands of extra operations per year.

The hospital will also offer more specialist care for older, frail people who are less likely to bounce back after being unwell. Specialised clinics and wards will mean older people who are frail will get even better care from hospital frailty experts, working closely with local GPs and community services.

The third area of changes will see a range of measures introduced to help people get home more quickly after accidents or emergencies. The hospital will have a special unit for assessing and treating patients quickly and thousands of people of all ages will be able to go home quicker because they will get emergency care on the same day, rather than being admitted for a spell in hospital.

The majority of people who arrive at Weston General Hospital in an emergency will still receive all their care at the hospital. A small number who require ongoing, specialist medical inpatient treatment for conditions such as heart, lung or stomach problems, will be transferred to a neighbouring hospital with specialist staff and equipment – leading to shorter hospital stays as well as improved outcomes for these patients.

A summary of the plans, and details of public engagement activities, are available to view in our Healthy Weston section.