Weston General Hospital’s A&E department to close overnight amid safety concerns

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The Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at Weston General Hospital will temporarily close overnight from July 4.

The Weston General Hospital, part of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, has this morning announced its accident and emergency department will close between 10pm and 8am from the 4th of July, after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the service is not safe for patients.

The CQC told the hospital it requires improvement and must make urgent changes to the emergency care pathway.

Dr Peter Collins, Director of Medicine at WGH, said “This is a very difficult decision but the right one. The risk of not filling a shift with specialist doctors, vital to safe patient care, is unacceptably high“.

According to the report several key failings were highlighted at the trust;

  • We found that ambulances had to wait too long to discharge their patients.
  • An ‘critical over-reliance’ on temporary agency staff to cover senior positions.
  • The corridor area in the emergency department was often used when there were no cubicles available, even though it was not a safe environment for emergency care and treatment.

Sir Mike Richards, CQC Chief inspector of Hospitals, said: “There were not always enough senior doctors on duty to ensure safe care in the emergency departments and medical wards”.

The CQC have ordered Trust to make significant changes without further delay.