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

The Healthy Weston consultation, which will end at noon on Friday 14th June 2019, has already received more than 1300 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 that also affect people in the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area.

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.

Contributions can be made by completing a questionnaire at the website at https://bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/healthyweston/

People wishing to give their views can also write direct to Freepost HEALTHY WESTON or email at 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).

“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. “As well as direct responses to the consultation, we have also met over 2,500 people at various 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