Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 13/03/2014 08:34:31
Progress on the review of the Faversham minor injuries service and the east Kent outpatient consultation were discussed at a recent health meeting.
NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held its governing body meeting in public on Wednesday 5 March, at Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Canterbury.
The group was given an update from the Faversham minor injuries unit (MIU) steering group which was created in January after councillors and patients asked to keep the unit open.
The steering group comprises patients, Faversham GPs, Friends of Faversham Cottage Hospital, Faversham Town Council, Swale Borough Council, Kent County Council and Healthwatch.
Its most recent meeting was on Tuesday 4 March at the Alexander Centre, Faversham.
Members reviewed eight suggestions for the service, including different opening hours and running with and without an X-ray service, and discussed running costs.
An in-depth review of three schemes will now be carried out by a working group.
An update will be presented to Kent County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (KCC’s HOSC) by the CCG at the end of April.
Simon Perks, NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group’s Accountable Officer, said: “The steering group is very much aware of the financial challenges we face as a CCG. We are now looking at some of the potential scenarios in greater detail to see if there are any viable solutions to help us continue a minor injuries service in Faversham.
“I’d like to thank all the members of the steering group who are taking the time to work with us on the review. Their support and input to the work the CCG is undertaking is highly valued.”
Councillor David Simmons, who chairs the steering group, said: “No one in Faversham underestimates the scale of the challenges faced in providing an inclusive health service in the 21st century. But the MIU is a highly valued service to both local patients and visitors.
"The League of Friends is committed to seeing the MIU and other services continued and improved. The initial meetings of the steering group have been very positive and I remain confident that by working together we can achieve a viable and sustainable solution.”
The governing body also discussed the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust's (EKHUFT) outpatient consultation. The CCG is helping to collect people’s views on plans to reduce the number of places for outpatient clinics from 15 to six. The six suggested sites would offer a better range of services reducing the need to travel to different places to receive care.
The consultation has been extended until Monday, 17 March, to allow for two more public meetings. Both meetings are on Wednesday 13 March, 2 to 4.30pm at Kings Hall, Herne Bay and 6.30 to 9pm at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Faversham. Further information is on EKHUFT’s website: www.ekhuft.nhs.uk.
Dr Mark Jones, who chairs the CCG, told the governing body: “We have received two petitions opposing proposals to stop outpatient clinics at the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Herne Bay. These will be passed to the University of Kent which is producing an independent report on the consultation.
“Once the report is completed the governing body will have an opportunity to review it and agree the CCG’s response. This will help to inform EKHUFT’s overall decision."
The result of the consultation is expected to be announced in July.
The CCG's next governing body meeting is on Wednesday 2 April, from 2pm to 5pm at the Alexander Centre, Preston Street, Faversham (ME13 8NY).
Members of the public and local organisations are invited to the meeting to find out about decisions being made on local healthcare.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions for 10 minutes at the start and a further 10 minutes at the end of the meeting. Anyone who would like to submit questions in advance should email email@example.com or call 01227 791359.
Anyone with comments or concerns about Faversham’s minor injuries service should call the CCG on 01227 791359, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG, Brook House, John Wilson Business Park, Reeves Way, Chestfield, Whitstable, CT5 3DD.