Weston Area Health NHS Trust

01934 636363 Weston General Hospital, Grange Road, Uphill , Weston-Super-Mare, BS23 4TQ

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  • NHS TDA announces end of acquisition between Weston and Taunton
  • New Chairman at Weston
  • Seagulls swoop in for hospital check
Outside view of the hospital

Weston Area Health NHS Trust  is  the smallest actue Trust in England. 

We're a small, friendly, patient focused NHS General Hospital and Children's Specialist Community Service. We offer a range of excellent clinical services both on-site and in conjunction with larger hospitals across Bristol and Somerset. 

We take PRIDE in our patient care delivering our values around People, Reputation, Innovation, Dignity, Excellence in everything we do. 

The Trust is currently in the process of being acquiired by Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. You can find out more about it here http://www.waht.nhs.uk/en-GB/About-The-Trust/Securing-the-Future-our-NHS-acquisition/

For more information about Weston General Hospital please go to the Hospital and Clinics tab above. 

Latest news

NHS TDA announces end of acquisition between Weston and Taunton

The NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) has today (16/10/15) announced that it is ending the transaction between Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (TSFT).

Responding to today’s announcement (16th October 2015), by the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) that the NHS acquisition of Weston Area Health NHS Trust by Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (Taunton) will no longer proceed, James Rimmer, Chief Executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust said:  

“Nobody expected this to be the outcome when the process first began, but any acquisition of Weston had to always fundamentally be about what is best for our patients.  

After robust scrutiny of the business case, the NHS TDA has concluded that an acquisition doesn’t “represent a clinically or financially viable organisation”. So if it’s not right for our patients, it’s not right for us.  

“Weston is a great small Trust with excellent resources. We have a dedicated and caring staff, proud to care for their community and passionate about the NHS. The acquisition may no longer be in progress, but today the NHS has made a public commitment that the hospital remains “an important part of the local NHS” and will continue to serve the population’s needs. Our job now is to build on that commitment across the region with the wider NHS, including Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust who remains one of our most valued partners in the south west.” 

James describes what the future may look like for Weston.  

“As scoped out in the NHS Five Year Forward View  (a study that sets out a vision for the future of the NHS) models of care in the NHS are evolving. Weston is well placed to be at the heart of this evolution. In fact, work has already begun.  

In the Forward View (1) small local hospitals are favoured alongside larger specialist regional centres,(2) while new regional networks between acute hospitals are being encouraged. As a result, establishing new regional partnerships with other acute Trusts is central to our thinking. 

“One of our biggest challenges remains around medical staffing. We’re adopting a new approach by establishing a ‘Sustainability Board’. Its purpose is to create opportunities to share specific Consultant doctor appointments with our three surrounding acute hospital Trusts in Bristol and Taunton. It’s still early days but we hope we’ll be able to attract more doctors to add to our existing highly skilled medical workforce.  

“Significant improvements have been made in the quality and safety of our patient care, patient experience and financial stability. Undoubtedly we still have challenges and issues needing urgent attention. We’ll be working through these challenges with our partners in the NHS seeking alternatives and solutions.  

“We will continue to work closely with our service Commissioners and NHS partners across the region to deliver services in line with our community’s health needs. Our aspiration is to continue on our journey of improvement and become an innovative local hospital at the heart of an evolving and changing NHS.” 


Last updated on 16 October 2015.

New Chairman at Weston

Chairman Grahame Paine

The NHS Trust Development Authority has confirmed today that Peter Carr, Chairman of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, has stood down and will be replaced by the Trusts’ current Vice-Chair Grahame Paine.

Grahame’s appointment is effective from the beginning of May. With extensive experience of Weston, Grahame has served as a Non-executive Director since March 2008 and as the Trust’s Vice-Chair since November 2010.


As a senior change management Executive, Grahame has a wealth of experience in strategic planning and managing large back office operations across multiple locations.

Nick Wood, Chief Executive of Weston Area Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

 “Peter Carr joined the Trust in August 2013 as Chair of the Board with the remit of facilitating the transition of the Trust to a new organisation and therefore securing the sustainability of the services offered by the Trust.

“Peter was instrumental in identifying the acquisition of the Trust by a local NHS provider as the best way forward and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the acquisition of the Trust by Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust progressed.


“He will be missed, but I am sure staff will be looking forward to working with Grahame, who is a familiar face to many of us already.”

Bob Alexander, Chief Executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority, said:

“I would like to personally thank Peter for the leadership he has shown at Weston Area Health NHS Trust. In what has been a challenging time for the NHS it has been critically important to have his expertise on the board to help take forward the acquisition of Weston Area Health Care NHS Trust.  We look forward to working with Grahame in his new role." 


Last updated on 13 May 2015.

Seagulls swoop in for hospital check

Seagull football team with Mr Mike Radford (3rd left) and Jason Seaton Physiotherapist (lef)

Lunges, crunches and leaps were the order of the day when players from the Weston-super-Mare Football Club, the Seagulls’, popped into Weston General Hospital.

The football players came to the hospital to see the expertise on hand in the Orthopaedic and Physiotherapy departments and to get some advice on how to look after their joints, muscles and bones.


Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Mike Radford, was on hand to discuss looking after their joints, on and off the pitch.


Weston General Hospital's highly qualified specialists provide treatment and orthopaedic surgery for the lower limb (foot and ankle, hip and knee), upper limb (hand and wrist, shoulder and elbow), soft tissue injuries, musculoskeletal health and degenerative spinal problems.

Dr Mike Radford, consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, said: “"A lot of footballers, rugby players, netballers and hockey players are susceptible to knee injuries that can have catastrophic consequences for their knees in later life. Here at Weston we have a world class team concentrating on preventing injury and guiding rehabilitation post-operatively should the worst happen.

“We pride ourselves on the level of expertise available which we believe is on a par with the premier rehabilitation services throughout the country currently available to elite professional athletes."

After some Orthopaedic advice, the players were then put through a rigorous session in the physiotherapy gym by our specialist knee, sports rehab and conditioning specialist, Jason Seaton.

Ryan Northmore, Weston AFC Manager, said: "My own playing career was brought to a premature end because of a knee injury and I wish I had the level of support on offer at Weston General Hospital to rehabilitate my injury. Hopefully the players that joined in the session will appreciate the hard work and expertise needed to rehabilitate a career threatening injury and invest more time in their own injury prevention programmes.”


Last updated on 13 May 2015.

Weston ready for any Ebola outbreaks

Our Emergency Dept in training

Preparations have begun at Weston General Hospital ahead of any possible Ebola Virus outbreak.

Here are some common questions and answers.


1)      What preparations if any have been made at the hospital regarding the potential threat of the Ebola virus?

We regularly receive guidance and updates from the Dept of Health and Public Health England and are taking their advice as to any specific preparations required by the hospital.  We have a written policy for CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) events which has been in place for some time.  We will also be participating in any specific exercising to test our arrangements as led by NHS England.

2)      Has any extra training been given to any staff in relation to the virus?

We have updated staff within our Emergency Department on the use of personal protective equipment, in particular masks. 


3)      Has any Ebola testing been carried out in the past month?

4)      What measures are in place at the hospital to deal with any potential Ebola outbreak in your area?

We have a team who would lead on our response to any chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident and we have a written and ratified CBRN policy in place.  Although we anticipate it as being highly unlikely that an outbreak would occur at Weston General Hospital particularly with screening of certain incoming passengers from infected countries at major airports and ports.

5)      What advice do you have for anyone who suspects they may have contracted the virus?

There is very useful and clear advice provided on the NHS Choices website if members of the public are concerned.  If you have recently returned from one of the affected countries and have symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat or rash, you should stay at home and immediately telephone 111 or 999 and explain that you have recently visited West Africa.  

There are a number of other quite common illnesses that present with similar symptoms in the early stages (such as flu, typhoid fever and malaria) so proper medical assessment is really important to ensure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Ebola is highly unlikely unless you’ve come into contact with the blood or bodily fluid of an infected person, for example if you were working in healthcare in infected regions.


Please find a link to the Public Health England (PHE) website which has further information:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/349569/01_09_14__Ebola_QA.pd




Last updated on 27 October 2014.

Tender submission for Weston Area Health NHS Trust

Following the deadline for tender submissions for the acquisition of Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT), we can announce that from the three expressions of interest* Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust have submitted a tender for Weston.

Nick Wood, Chief Executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust said:


“The tender submission from Taunton will now go through a strict and intensive evaluation process. This closely scrutinises the business case against the clinical, financial and service delivery objectives set by Weston and the NHS Trust Development Authority.  A decision will then be made about whether the case meets the essential criteria needed to progress further along the acquisition process.

“We feel it is important to stress at this point that the outcome of whether Taunton will acquire Weston is still very much unknown and will not be known for some time.

“We will of course ensure that staff, patients and the public are kept informed of progress and decisions as they happen.”


The anticipated schedule (please note this is subject to change):

Stage One: Evaluation

  • November – December 2014: Weston announces the outcome of the evaluation.


Stage Two: Approval

(Will only take place after approval is given at Stage Two)


  • Please note that unless approval is given by these organisations any acquisition cannot take place.


Stage Three: Transition

(Will only take place if approval is given at Stage Two)

  • January 2015: Anticipated that a transition process with the successful Trust begins.
  • Summer 2015: Anticipated that the acquisition process will be complete.

*The two other Trusts who submitted a formal expression of interest were Somerset Partnership Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Bristol.


Last updated on 27 October 2014.

Current Staffing Levels at Weston Hospital

The Trust's current staffing levels for Nurses, Midwives and Care Staff can be found at http://www.waht.nhs.uk/en-GB/About-The-Trust/Our-Standards/Weston-Area-Health-Trust-Current-Staffing-Levels/ 

Last updated on 20 June 2014.

Three NHS Trusts come forward to run Weston

Following the recent announcement by Weston Area Health NHS Trust that it was seeking an NHS partner in a 50 mile radius to either merge with or acquire Weston, three different NHS Trusts have expressed an interest in joining forces with the North Somerset Trust.


These are (in no particular order):-


University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust http://www.uhbristol.nhs.uk/


Taunton and Musgrove Park NHS Foundation Trust http://www.musgroveparkhospital.nhs.uk/


Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/


Reacting to the news Nick Wood, Chief Executive Weston Area Health NHS Trust, said:


“We are delighted that these Trusts have come forward. This is testament to Weston’s growing reputation as a Trust able to deliver high quality clinical and personalised patient care and we welcome the opportunity to become part of any one of them.


“There are another two stages to go in the process.


“All three Trusts will have to submit formal tenders to us by the middle of August and we’ll be working with all three to give them any extra information they may need to assist them in doing that. Then, using the strict criteria we’ve laid down in the business case for Weston, we’ll carefully evaluate each application and announce the successful Trust in October.”

Last updated on 20 June 2014.

New ‘NHS only’ partnership route for Weston Area Health NHS Trust

Ending almost two years of uncertainty, Weston Area Health NHS Trust has announced today that with the support of local health commissioners and the NHS Trust Development Authority, it has now decided to seek a partner for the Trust from within the NHS


Weston will now either merge with another NHS Trust, or be acquired by an NHS Foundation Trust  in a 50 mile radius. The open market procurement process will end and the Trust expects to announce the successful bidder in autumn 2014. 


The ‘NHS only’ merger/acquisition programme has been agreed as the result of significant improvements in clinical services, quality, patient experience and financial stability

at Weston.


Over the last year the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has lowered the Trust’s risk rating substantially. The Trust has exceeded national performance targets in A&E  and Referral to Treatment  and in 2013-2014 reduced its ongoing financial deficit by an additional £1.25 million.


Alongside this, the Trust has identified challenges in the medium to long-term of filling medical staff vacancies which could result in the Trust experiencing difficulties in meeting the demands of a modern-day NHS . These challenges could also impact on maintaining the improvements in quality and performance already achieved. So the Trust, NTDA and local commissioners are in firm agreement that a more formal clinical collaboration and partnership with another Trust must be found.


Commenting about the announcement, Nick Wood, Chief Executive, Weston Area Health NHS Trust said:


“Previously, an ‘NHS only’ route was not an option, but that’s now changed. Due to the fantastic commitment of all our staff, significant improvements across the Trust have put us in a much stronger position than we were 18 months ago when the procurement process first began.


“Fundamentally, Weston must decide how best to respond to the needs of our patients. Clinical recruitment now remains our biggest challenge. New formal collaborations and partnerships will add recruitment value to the Trust - essential if we going to attract enough specialist doctors to fill existing and future vacancies and maintain a robust clinical workforce.  


“Weston is the smallest acute Trust in the country” he continued. “Work conducted with NHS North Somerset over the last five years clearly demonstrates that the Trust cannot satisfy the requirements to become a Foundation Trust or find an option that is financially and clinically sustainable as a stand-alone organisation.


“Our belief, shared by local commissioners and the NHS TDA, is that ‘NHS Only’ will keep our improved performance trajectory on track and maintain high levels of clinical and patient care. Looking to the long-term future it’s also the best option to provide sustainable services for the local population and our staff who care for them.”


Professor Stephen Dunn, Director at the NHS Trust Development Authority said:


“As the Trust works to get to grip with issues like the need to provide a broad range of services seven days a week, a solution which sees them merging quickly with or being acquired by another NHS organisation will put them in the best position to respond to patients’ needs. 


“Weston has been delivering high quality, timely care to patients for some time” he continued, “And they have delivered key A&E and referral to treatment standards. 

It is crucial that patients continue to experience this good care and treatment.  The best way to achieve this is by rapidly finding the NHS partner that can ensure patients in Weston continue to receive high quality services for the foreseeable future.”


It is hoped that the decision on the successful acquiring or merging NHS organisation will be made around the end of October 2014 with all formal agreements anticipated to be in place by April 2015.  During this process there will be an opportunity for the public to make their views known.

For more Information click HERE  

Last updated on 04 June 2014.

Latest reviews of this trust

Emergency Service

Good swift treatment although ambulances backed up due to crews staying with patient Why not employee a few more paramedics

17 March 2014

Quality of service at Weston Area Health NHS Trust

Registration with the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission regulates this organisation

Last updated on 16 October 2015.

Information supplied by Weston Area Health NHS Trust