PERFORMANCE: Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is set to shake up the night time services it provides at Cheltenham General Hospital.

Doctors will no longer be on hand to treat patients in the hospital’s emergency care centre at night leaving the centre solely staffed by nurses.

Patients with a critical illness and injury who need treatment from emergency medicine doctors will be forced to go to the trust’s Gloucestershire Royal Hospital during night time hours.

The trust’s emergency medicine consultant Dr Tom Llewellyn said that it faced increasing pressures to recruit staff in emergency medicine.

“From August 2013, there is no guarantee that the trust will have the number of doctors they currently have so they need to plan responsibly to ensure patient safety.

“By bringing together specialist emergency medicine staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital at night time, the trust will be able to ensure early senior assessment and decision making, which will benefit the sickest patients and there will be more robust senior medical cover, round the clock,”  he said.

“The reason for concentrating resources at Gloucestershire Royal at night rather than Cheltenham General is due to the critical links to other services which are based there, such as children’s services, high risk maternity services and stroke care,” he added.