The centre, due to be completed in 2004, may be given the green light for the much-needed facility following the decision to drop a minor injuries unit from plans at the Farnham Local Care Centre.

Since the closure of the Cambridge Military Hospital councillors have fought for a decent health care facility and minor injuries unit in Aldershot.

Following a six-year battle, which involved petitions from the News and Mail, work is due to begin on a £19million health centre at the end of the year.

So far there is no minor injuries unit, which Rushmoor councillors are adamant should be included in the plans.

But Cllr David Clifford said: "I'm very optimistic that this will all go ahead — we just need all the doctors and politicians pulling in the same direction.

"The fact that it has been dropped in Farnham places a lot more importance on it now."

The minor injuries unit is vital to people who would otherwise have to travel to busy hospitals with problems that could be dealt with quicker at a local building.

The Royal Surrey already has problems with the availability of its facilities — one patient had to wait 36 hours for a bed.

If patients are forced to go elsewhere for minor treatment, pressure will be put on Frimley Park Hospital to cater for them.

Plans to build a minor injuries unit as part of the new Farnham Local Care Centre were scuppered when Guildford and Waverley Primary Care Trust decided it was not essential for the local area.

The centre, which has been marred by various problems, is set to replace Farnham Hospital in Guildford Road.

David Little, director of development and communications at Guildford and Waverley PCT, said: "There are other plans being developed for minor injury services in the local area.

"The new centre will concentrate initially on replacing those services currently provided at Farnham Hospital.

"A minor injuries unit will not be included on opening, but the use of the centre and the services it provides will need to be reviewed over time in light of changing factors, for example the relative ease of access to the Royal Surrey and Frimley Park's accident and emergency services at night."