Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge residents are being encouraged to have their say on Weston General Hospital at a local ‘community engagement’ event this month.

People can express their views about the future of services at Weston General Hospital at the event on Tuesday 28th March at the Oaktree Arena, Bristol Road, Edithmead, Highbridge form 7pm-9pm.

It comes as NHS North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working with NHS Somerset CCG, has launched an eight-week engagement on services at Weston General Hospital and is hosting several public events for people to attend and give their views.

Places at the event are limited so those intertested should register their interest by emailing wgh.engagement@nhs.net or calling 01275 546721.

Dr Mary Backhouse, Local GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS North Somerset CCG, which is responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the local population, explained: “Weston General Hospital is a crucial part of the local NHS but it faces particular challenges because of its size.”

“We want people to come to our public engagement events so we can hear their views and listen to their experiences of services at Weston General Hospital.”

Weston General Hospital plays an important role in the emergency and urgent care network in the Burnham-On-Sea area. However, in common with hospitals throughout the region and nationally, services at Weston General face increasing demand from a growing and ageing population.

To add to this, as the smallest acute hospital trust in England, Weston General Hospital says it is “struggling to keep up with growing demand for services and faces particular challenges in being able to recruit and retain doctors in certain specialties.”

Working with health and social care partners, the CCG has developed a number of ideas that it is “confident will help secure the future of the hospital” but they are not fixed plans and the CCG wants to know what you think.

Dr Ed Ford, Chairman of NHS Somerset CCG, added: “A quarter of the people living in North Sedgemoor and West Mendip make use of the services of Weston General Hospital and I therefore encourage them to find out about these hospital proposals and share their views, either by attending one of the forthcoming meetings or obtaining a copy of the engagement document. It’s your NHS and it’s your opportunity to share your views.”

You can read about the ideas on the CCG’s website at www.northsomersetccg.nhs.uk/wgh-engagement and also provide feedback online. The engagement period closes on Thursday 6th April 2017.