Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 22/04/2014 16:25:32
‘Faversham’s minor injuries service is still viable and could be an attractive opportunity for providers’ – that is the view of the Faversham minor injuries unit (MIU) steering group.
The steering group, which was put together by NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), met on Tuesday 15 April to consider the potential options for Faversham’s minor injuries service.
Members of the steering group include representatives of Faversham GPs, The Friends of Faversham Cottage Hospital, Faversham Town Council, Faversham patients, Swale Borough Council, Kent County Council and Healthwatch.
The steering group reviewed the findings from the smaller working group which was tasked with investigating potential scenarios for the service. For example different opening hours and running with and without an X-ray facility.
The steering group agreed with the working group’s suggestion that the most viable solution for the MIU would be to run from 8am to 6.30pm, seven days per week. And offer access to on-site X-ray from 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
It was also agreed that:
• Further work needs to be about how flexible the service would need to be and whether the MIU would also treat minor illness.
• Early discussions will need to take place with potential providers if the governing body agree to put the contract out to tender.
• Any potential provider would need to undertake a strong awareness raising campaign to encourage local people to use the Faversham service instead of going elsewhere.
It was also noted that progress made by the steering group was recently reported to members of Kent County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC). They thanked the CCG for listening to, and working with, the local community to try and find a way forward for the service.
Cllr David Simmons, Chair of the steering group, said: “I am pleased with the progress made to date, although there is still a long way to go before a new contract is awarded.
“The good news is that the various different interested groups are talking to each other, and listening to the needs of Faversham. I am now more confident that a workable solution can be found, but we must not let the progress gained so far slip away.”
The steering group will provide an update and suggest a recommendation to the NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG governing body for their consideration. The next governing body will take place on Wednesday 4 June, from 2pm to 5pm at Ash Village Hall, Ash (CT3 2BG).
In the meantime, the steering group will continue to investigate the viability of the preferred option and what a potential tender document could look like.
Simon Perks, NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group’s Accountable Officer, said: “I’d once again like to thank everyone who has given up their time to work with us on trying to find a way forward for Faversham MIU.
“Working through the potential scenarios and finding a viable solution has been a challenging task. Faversham MIU may be one of the smallest units in Kent and Medway, but the strength of feeling from the local community has been great.
“There is still a lot more work to be done but I remain confident that following the next governing body meeting we will have a clear steer as to whether the revised contract for Faversham’s minor injuries service can go out to tender.”
If anyone has any comments or concerns about to Faversham’s minor injuries service that they would like to discuss with NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG they can call 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.