The number of patients seen and either admitted or discharged within four hours at Weston General’s A&E has fallen by more than 16 per cent in a year.
The hospital trust blamed increased demand and the number of patients waiting to be discharged into the community.
It is struggling to recruit doctors but said this is due to a nationwide shortage which is not linked to Brexit or the overnight closure of its A&E.
The trust has started exploring different ways to recruit specialist doctors, including offering additional training and unpaid leave.
Phil Walmsley, director of operations, told the trust this week: “Our performance in A&E was 16 per cent lower than last year.
Last August was particularly good, but this August was particularly difficult.
“Our four-hour performance has declined steadily since July last year.
“We regularly get 10 or more patients overnight. It’s taking all morning to clear that backlog.
“By October 10 we will be working on 2.5 whole-time equivalent middle grade medical staff in post. We’ve struggled to maintain the pipeline of middle grades. That’s a significant concern.”
A trust spokesperson said the shortage of middle grade medical staff would not affect patient care as it has regular locums and agency staff and its own staff who work additional shifts to ensure “seamless” care.
People in Ashburton took to the streets again to campaign to keep their fire station open.
It is the latest demonstration over planned changes to the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service which could see eight stations close.
The fire service says it needs to focus more on prevention and that there is a big drop in the number of incidents.
However, the Ashburton crew claim they were called out six times in the past week.
Half way through the march, they got another call to go to Ivybridge as standby because of a shortage of appliances in the area.
A consultation is underway looking into the proposals.
It just emphasises the case for keeping every appliance and every station in the service open and hopefully keep us fully crewed so that they're all available to do these kind of moves."
Burning car found on roof in Buckfastleigh
BBC News Online
Fire crews were called to reports of a car on fire in the early hours of Sunday morning.
On arrival, the crew from Buckfastleigh found a car on Church Hill that was on its roof and on fire.
All passengers had fled the scene.
The crew put out the fire and searched the area.
BBC local radio headlines for the West
Radio Bristol: A BBC investigation has found a waste company, close to fly-infested homes in Avonmouth, breached environmental rules 16 times in a year.
BBC Somerset: Avon and Somerset Police are trying something new in an attempt to reduce knife crime. It is putting teenagers through an intensive week-long course in which they are shown the brutal reality, often in shocking detail.
Radio Gloucestershire: A new scanner is being donated to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital that will revolutionise treatment for thousands of children.
The AccuVein is being donated by the family of nine-year-old Henry Bromberg who died in 2016 from a rare heart condition.
BBC Wiltshire: There's been a cyber attack at Swindon College.
Bosses say the hackers got access to information about former staff and students after breaking into the computer system. Police are investigating.
'Desperate need' for special school places
A Weston-super-Mare special school has been given the go-ahead to expand to meet a "desperate" need in North Somerset.
Westhaven is the only school in the south of the district for children with complex learning difficulties and currently takes 120 pupils aged seven to 16.
Finding somewhere for the first three years of education causes real struggles for parents so the Ellesmere Road school will swell to 138 spaces and start taking children as young as four.
Councillor Catherine Gibbons, who is responsible for children’s services and lifelong learning, told Wednesday’s executive meeting there was a shortage of SEND provision in North Somerset.
“This school has worked tirelessly to offer an excellent provision for our children," she said.
“They have identified the need to extend the age range. It will provide 12 new key stage one places.
"This has been a problem for parents with younger children. It’s been a considerable difficulty.
“Demand is increasing. The cohort has grown by 40 per cent since 2015. We have an ongoing need.”
Campaigners are reacting angrily to further delays in bringing superfast broadband to the most rural parts of Devon and Somerset.
The company responsible for the publicly funded roll-out, Gigaclear has lost its contract.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset Partnership says it will now start the process of finding a new provider.
It means the scheme is potentially four years behind schedule.
In a statement, it said it was working hard to agree a revised plan and it was "disappointed" not to be able to progress.
For businesses to do things like tax returns, VAT etc - the government expects it to be done online these days. Again, it's this dichotomy between rural and urban areas where rural areas are being short-changed."
Funding available for young people's campaigns
and community groups in Somerset are being invited to bid for a share of
£50,000 for projects that inspire young people into social action.
County Council says it will also invest £25,000 from its prevention fund into projects
chosen by the Somerset Youth Parliament.
Frances Nicholson, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services,
fantastic that children and young people will have the chance to take part in
campaigns and projects or volunteer to help improve the lives of others.”
The fund is open to applications on Monday 16 September and the closing date is
Friday 25 October.
Seven people rescued from two 'deliberate' fires
Seven people have been rescued from two fires in Yeovil, which are both believed to have been started deliberately.
The first blaze broke out shortly after midnight in a stairwell at a block of flats.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said three fire engines attended and four people were led to safety.
Two of them were treated for smoke inhalation, and one of them was taken to hospital.
The second fire happened shortly before 4am at a property in Houndstone, Yeovil.
Three fire engines attended and three people were assessed by paramedics at the scene.
The fire service said the ground floor front door was completely destroyed, and the front hallway and first floor living room were damaged.
A spokesperson said a fire investigation officer attended both incidents, and police were asked to attend, as the cause of both fires was believed to be deliberate.
Father 'delighted' Batten disease drug made available
The father of a Somerset boy with Batten disease says he's delighted NHS England has announced it will offer a drug to treat it.
Eight-year-old Max Sewart moved to the Netherlands with his dad Simon to get treatment - because it wasn't available here.
Now NHS England has announced it will offer a drug - which slows the progress of the rare incurable condition - after it agreed a deal with the company that manufactures it.
New homes on former caravan park in Weston set to be approved
Amended plans to build 125 homes at a former Weston caravan park could be approved before some residents have their chance to comment.
Councillors called for a number of changes to the application when they visited West Acres Farm last month and Bloor Homes submitted a revised application on 4 September.
Nearly 40 residents objected to the original scheme. They should have until September 23 to comment but the new plans will come before North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee on 18 September.
The 4.5-hectare site off Wolvershill Road was used for storing caravans as long ago as 1982, and then as a touring caravan site from 1997.
The developer, Bloor Homes said: “The proposed development would provide a range of high quality housing enabling North Somerset Council to meet the local need and improving the immediate context.
“The green infrastructure will deliver an open space and landscaped areas that are accessible to the wider community.
The site is at risk of flooding but the plans measures that have satisfied the Environment Agency.
The application was met with 38 objections, prompting town councillors to call for it to be considered by North Somerset councillors.
Residents said the access from Wolvershill Road was inadequate, patient safety would be compromised and the development would be too close to existing homes.
They also pointed to a lack of spaces in schools, at GP surgeries and on the roads.
Recommending approval, officers said the site has been allocated for housing since at least 2007 and the homes would “create a good quality living environment for residents whilst protecting biodiversity and the living conditions of neighbours”.
Police stations across Avon and Somerset that are too big for the force could be sold off to free up resources for frontline policing.
A Freedom of Information request revealed the following:
Minehead station could go as early as next year, and the force is already exploring alternative premises
Chard and Radstock could go "post 2020" as they are both “too big for our requirements”, while Somerton’s is “earmarked” for sale in the same timeframe. Relocations are being considered from each site
Williton Police Station no longer meets the requirements of the force. It is looking at sharing a space, with a decision expected in 2020/21
Wincanton - there could be a possible move in 2020/21 as the local council is looking to sell its building which houses the police enquiry office
Officers could leave Burnham-on-Sea police station in 2021/22, as again it is too big
The police are looking to leave Broadbury Road station in Knowle West and relocate “in the immediate vicinity”, or stay there and sublet some of the space. A decision is expected in 2021/22.
Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said in the estate strategy for 2016 to 2020: "I reiterate my commitment that the local communities of Avon and Somerset will have a defined policing footprint and advances in technology and more strategic bases will support this.
“When we talk about selling police stations it’s understandable that local people have concerns.
“It’s important to remember why we continually review the police estate; and that any decision is made with complete consideration for the communities of Avon and Somerset.
“We must also remember that it is not the bricks and mortar that keep us safe but the people within them.
“Freeing up resources from oversized and costly buildings is essential in order to support frontline policing.”
Chief constable Andy Marsh said in the strategy he would “rather invest in frontline officers than continue to run outdated and expensive buildings”.
Christmas market vendors could return to a Bath street after a successful experiment last year.
Construction work around the Abbey forced Visit Bath to look further afield in 2018 and it set its sights on Milsom Street, which was transformed for the 18-day event.
It now wants permission to install 26 chalets and three mobile catering pitches in the road, and spill out into New Bond Street and Bond Street in order to “maximise public safety and improve crowd flow”.
Some 404,000 people visited Bath’s Christmas market last year, down from 409,000 in 2017, mirroring a national trend.
A Visit Bath spokesperson said: “Bath Christmas Market delivers in excess of £30million into the city – which shows that the event continues to be of huge economic benefit to Bath.
“We consider the market’s extension into Milsom Street a great success and we received lots of positive feedback from residents, visitors, stallholders and local retailers.
“The footprint had a very positive impact on Christmas sales and footfall figures for businesses in this area.
“Subject to planning, we aim to return to Orange Grove, once the Abbey’s Footprint project is complete, as well as continue to have chalets in Milsom Street.”
Road closures will be in place Milsom Street, Quiet Street, New Bond Street and Green Street before, during and after the event, and parking will be restricted in George Street.
The chalets will be positioned in the road so pavements, business doorways or window displays will not be obstructed or restricted in any way. There will also be sufficient space for emergency vehicles requiring access to the area.
Security will be on site 24 hours a day.
The Christmas market will run from November 28 to December 15.
Bath and North East Somerset Council will decide the fate of the planning application.
Assaulted police officer: 'People want to hurt us'
A police officer has spoken out about life in her role after being attacked in the street.
A national review into the safety of officers is to be carried out after a rise in assaults on officers.
Avon and Somerset police officer Anna Hall who was attacked, bitten and kicked in an incident caught on her bodycam in June said "people want to hurt us".
PC Hall's attacker Daniel Stadon admitted assault and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Police chief backs officer safety review
An urgent national review into the safety of police officers is to be carried out after a rise in assaults on officers.
Avon and Somerset Police Federation chair Andy Roebuck said attacks on officers must be taken seriously.