Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 09/06/2014 14:24:26
The contract for providing a minor injuries unit (MIU) in Faversham will be going out to tender for a second time in a bid to find an organisation that can provide the service.
NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group has agreed to start a new procurement process following recommendations from the Faversham MIU steering group.
The provider winning the tender will be required to run a minor injuries service in Faversham from 8am to 8pm, seven days per week. It is hoped that access to x-rays from at least 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday will also be included. X-rays are not currently provided at Faversham MIU.
The winning provider will be required to run a strong awareness-raising, advertising and promotional campaign to support use of the new service.
The steering group’s recommendations were presented at the CCG’s governing body meeting on 4 June by Brenda Chester – Vice-chair of the Public Reference Group, Graham Elvey – a Faversham resident, and Neil Fisher, Head of Strategy and Planning at the CCG.
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.
In addition to starting a new procurement process, the governing body agreed to work on extending the existing contract with IC24 until April 2015 to allow time for the procurement process to be completed.
It was also agreed that the steering group will continue. It will work with the CCG to develop plans for a community network in Faversham, and will work towards ensuring a full seven-day 8am-8pm service for minor injuries in Faversham.
Commenting on the work of the steering group, Dr Mark Jones, Chair of the CCG, said: “This is a positive step forward and it is hugely constructive to have members of the public and representatives from local organisations working with us in developing health services for the town.
“They have presented us with a persuasive, evidence-based case which makes me confident that we should go back out to the market to try and find an appropriate provider for the service.”
Cllr David Simmons, Chair of the steering group, said: “I am pleased with the progress made to date, this is a good example of different interested groups working together to find a viable and workable solution. I am pleased that the existing contract is to be extended until April 2015, but there is still a lot a work to do and the Steering Group will be meeting again in early July.”
Brenda Chester, Member of the steering group and Vice-chair of the Public Reference Group, said: “As a patient representative I have welcomed the opportunity to work with the CCG to ensure that Faversham retains its MIU, and I look forward to a successful conclusion to our work. I also welcome the CCG’s commitment to working with the steering group to develop the plan for a community network.”
The governing body meeting, which was held at Ash Village Hall, also welcomed Hugh Joslin, the newly- elected chair of the Public Reference Group (PRG).
Hugh was elected at the PRG meeting on 12 May.
Hugh will attend the governing body meetings alongside Gillian Wells, the lay member for patient and public engagement.
Gillian Wells said: “I very much look forward to working with Hugh on further strengthening the PRG and ensuring local residents are given a voice on local health issues. I’d also like to thank Brenda Chester for her work as interim-chair over the past few months.”
The PRG brings together members of the practice-based Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and voluntary and community organisations from across the area. It meets on a bi-monthly basis to discuss healthcare issues with representatives from the CCG.
If you are interested in joining your local PPG, please contact your practice manager.
Local people interested in health can also join the Friends of C4G. It provides people with news from the CCG and encourages people to take part in consultations and discussions on local health issues. For further information or to join, visit the ‘get involved’ section of the website.