Published: 13:00, 08 June 2015
| Updated: 15:19, 08 June 2015
Faversham Minor Injuries Unit is to remain open and will now offer X-rays.
Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) made the announcement today after months of uncertainty over the unit's future.
A three-year contract, with an option to extend by a further two years, has been awarded to Faversham Medical Practice, starting at the end of August.
The service in the heart of the town will be equipped to provide X-rays, expected to be available within six months after the August start date.
Following an unsuccessful procurement attempt in 2013, the CCG said it would do everything possible to keep the service open.
Campaigners objected to any move to close the service and showed their opposition by marching through the town, launching a petition and voicing their concern at packed out public meetings.
Thousands fought to save the service.
Since December 2013, the CCG has worked with a steering group including patients, Faversham GPs, representatives of the Friends of Faversham Cottage Hospital and elected councillors.
Accountable Officer for the CCG Simon Perks said: “This is a great example of the NHS working closely with local people to decide what is needed in their area.
“In December 2013, the CCG promised to do everything within its power to keep the unit open and we have been able to deliver on that promise.
“I am very pleased to see how the collaboration of patients, elected members and NHS commissioners has resulted in an enhanced service for people in Faversham, with the Minor Injuries Unit soon to be able to offer x-rays.
“This shows what can be achieved through a collaborative approach to commissioning health services in our local area.”
The new service will be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week including all bank and public holidays.
As soon as the X-ray facility is operational, X-rays will be available, as a minimum, for six hours a day, Monday to Friday. It will be based at Faversham Cottage Hospital.
Chairman of the steering group Cllr David Simmons said: “Following an extensive review, the steering group collaboratively found a solution which will see a 7 day-a-week service provided within the town.
"This service will be better than what we currently have as people will be able to use it to have an X-ray in Faversham rather than travelling to Canterbury or Sittingbourne.
“I am pleased that a new provider has been awarded the contract and people in Faversham will continue to receive a first class health service in their town.”