There is “no intention” for Weston General Hospital to become a Covid-only facility, a regional health chief has confirmed.
Julia Ross said some patients were being taken elsewhere in a temporary measure to “alleviate pressure”.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s chief executive said there was “particular pressure” at Weston Hospital – which is used by patients across the Burnham-On-Sea area.
“We’re simply working to ensure we can create enough space…to get back to operating normally.”
“There’s no intention for Weston to be a so-called blue hospital – it’s not a hospital only treating Covid-positive patients.”
“We’re working together to alleviate the pressure on Weston. That means some people are being taken to other hospitals at the point of arrival in the ambulance,” Ms Ross said.
The trust said the temporary measures would be kept under review. Ms Ross told the clinical commissioning group’s governing body that the system remains “incredibly pressured”.
“For the NHS, having a third lockdown is important for us to try and get ahead of the virus.”
“Our system remains incredibly pressured. Our particular pressure is in Weston.”
“The number of Covid cases in our hospitals is rising. At the end of December there were 235 patients in our three hospitals and every day we’re seeing that grow quite significantly,” she added.
In May last year, Weston General Hospital stopped accepting new patients due to a high number of Coronavirus cases. It was closed to new admissions between 25 May and 18 June. The trust later apologised after an internal investigation revealed hospital-acquired coronavirus infection may have contributed to the deaths of 18 patients.