A survey of nearly 900 people – including hospital staff – showed strong support for the proposed changes at Weston General Hospital.
The A&E service would remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while specialist ‘centres of excellence’ would be created – in surgery and elderly care.
The North Somerset Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel will review the plans at a meeting on April 20, with changes due to be rolled out in early 2023.
Today, an open poll found that 85% of people agree that services need to change – and 91% support improving same-day emergency care.
The NHS says the proposals – designed by senior doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals – were created to ensure that more people can have locally planned procedures each year, and that the hospital can attract the staff it needs to thrive.
Key findings from the survey include:
85% of people agree that services at Weston General Hospital need to change.
91% support improving same-day emergency care at A&E.
86% support making Weston General Hospital a center of excellence for surgical training to attract new staff and provide development opportunities for existing staff.
68% support the idea of transferring patients requiring unplanned hospitalization to neighboring hospitals.
90% of support plans aim to help older people avoid hospital stays and make necessary hospitalizations as short as possible.
The results of the survey, which was part of a wider program of engagement with staff, patients and local people, will be used to inform the development of draft proposals. These will be the subject of a new commitment over the coming months.
Speaking about the survey results, Annabel Plaister, Public Governor of University Hospitals Bristol and the Weston NHS Foundation Trust representing North Somerset, said: “This survey shows that local people support change at Weston General to help it become the best possible.
“There are exciting opportunities for Weston General Hospital and it’s so important to make sure the voices of patients and the public are a part of them.
“I’m really pleased to see that locals are being asked to provide input as part of the future improvement process.”
READ MORE: Plans for change of care at Weston General Hospital revealed
Dr Andrew Hollowood, Medical Director of Weston General Hospital, said: “It’s great to see there is public support for increasing the number of planned operations we could provide locally, preserving the 14/7 A&E service and improving same-day emergency care.
“There is a real opportunity to secure a bright and sustainable future for Weston General Hospital.
“We want to be able to respond effectively to the health needs of the local population, providing more of the services that people need most often.”
The NHS says it will use the results, along with further feedback from staff, patients and the public, to refine the proposals ahead of a new commitment due this summer.