Survey shows strong support for improvements at Weston General Hospital

A recent survey of almost 900 local people – including hospital staff – has shown strong support for changes proposed under the Healthy Weston programme to services at Weston General Hospital.
The open survey, undertaken as part of a second phase of work to secure a strong and sustainable future for the hospital, found that 85% of people agree that services need to change — and 91% support improvements to same day emergency care.

The survey asked people for their views on early thinking from the local NHS on proposals – designed by senior doctors, nurses and other health professionals – to change the way some services are delivered. The proposals have been designed to ensure that more people can undergo planned procedures locally each year, and the hospital can attract the staff it needs to thrive.

The emerging proposals set out how A&E would continue to run 14 hours a day, 7 days a week with additional specialist care provided so that more people could be treated and return home on the same day. Plans also include creating two onsite ‘centres of excellence’ for surgery and older people’s care.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 85% of people agree that services at Weston General Hospital need to change.
  • 91% support improvements to same day emergency care at A&E.
  • 86% support making Weston General Hospital a centre of excellence for surgical training to attract new staff and provide development opportunities for existing staff.
  • 68% support the idea of transferring patients who require an unplanned inpatient stay to neighbouring hospitals.
  • 90% support plans to help older people avoid hospital stays and make any necessary hospital admissions as short as possible.

The results of the survey, which was part of a wider programme of engagement with staff, patients and local people, will be used to inform the development of the draft proposals. These will be subject to further engagement over the coming months.

Speaking about the survey results, Annabel Plaister, a public governor at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust representing North Somerset said:

“This survey shows that local people support change at Weston General to help it become the best it can be. There are exciting opportunities for Weston General Hospital and making sure that the patient and public voice is part of that is so important. I’m really pleased to see that local people are being asked for their views as part of the process of further improvement.”

Dr Andrew Hollowood, Medical Director at Weston General Hospital, said:

“It’s great to see there is public support for increasing the numbers of planned operations we could provide locally, preserving the 14/7 A&E service and improving same day emergency care.

“There is a real opportunity to secure a bright and sustainable future for Weston General Hospital. We want to be able to respond effectively to the health needs of the local population, providing more of the services people need most often.”

The NHS will now use the results of the survey, along with other feedback from staff, patients and the public, to refine the proposals ahead of further engagement expected in the summer.