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Time For A Change

For the last five years, Protect our NHS has been a part of the campaign, spearheaded by the Save Weston A&E group, to retain a 24-hour Emergency Department at Weston General Hospital.  Now we believe it is time for us to broaden the scope of our campaign and confront the multitude of health issues facing North Somerset at the end of this dreadful year.

It is our intention, therefore, to support the work of our NHS throughout our county and region.  And we want to emphasise that small word “our” in our campaign’s name.  The NHS belongs not to government, nor to management, nor to clinical commissioners and definitely not to U.S. Health Insurance conglomerates.  It belongs to us.  And it is “us” who have to fight to keep it safe from destruction by political ideologists or exploitation by rapacious multi-nationals.

We will still be keeping a close watch on the changes at Weston General Hospital now that it has “merged” with UHBT to become the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust and we are preparing ourselves for the “Healthy Weston” review in April 2021.  Already we want to know which merger promises made by the hospital and the CCG have been kept?

  • Are patients getting the same treatments in the same places as they did before the merger?
  • Has there been increased diversity, capacity and resilience among staff?
  • Has the merger allowed for greater training and development opportunities across a much wider portfolio of services? 
  • Has it strengthened the knowledge base, peer support, skills and experience of employees?
  • Has it helped bring stability to Weston General Hospital?
  • What impact has the overnight closure of Weston’s A&E had on other hospitals in the region?
  • If the overnight pressure on other hospitals becomes too great will it be possible to re-open Weston’s A&E? 

And in the light of recent announcements can a ratio of 1 nurse to 10 or 12 patients – increased from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for patient safety of 1:6 (days) and 1:8 (nights) – ever be regarded as genuinely safe practice? 

Finally, after the corrupt cronyism revealed by the PPE procurement mess that was then followed by the shambolic chaos of our “World Beating Track and Trace system”, there is time for genuine hope and excitement at the end of 2020 with the arrival of the Covid19 vaccines.  We, at Protect our NHS (North Somerset), along with everyone else, have been delighted to hear this excellent news.  And as ever, our thanks go out 

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