Local Involvement Networks…
…promote and support the involvement of people in designing local care services. People can comment on how they feel about the care they receive, either across lots of services which they may use, or those given by one particular provider. Locally, LINk Devon feeds back those views and experiences, developing communications which enable community voices to be heard at strategic level.
A lot of work is currently being done by community groups, organisations and individuals to enable people to be involved at all levels. LINk Devon aims to let people know how they can be involved in existing patient and public involvement networks and provides an independent way for individuals and groups to feed back to strategic commissioning structures. We are helping to develop arrangements for public involvement in the emerging Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Joint Health and Well Being Strategy
Do you have a particular view about how the needs of vulnerable groups can be represented or how people can take part? What will be needed to make sure your community’s voice is heard?There is currently a survey being carried out which you can take part in either as an organisation or individual, by accessing www.devonhealthandwellbeing.org.uk . The strategy aims to ensure that plans are made which put the people who benefit from services firmly at the heart of decision making. It will inform the work of the Joint Health and Well Being Board which is being set up.
LINk Devon has representatives in lots of areas, such as acute hospitals and the NHS Devon and Local Authority Joint Engagement Board We are also are out and about across Devon at community events. . If you would like someone to come and see your group in your area, please let us know. We run locality meetings to enable people to meet our workers locally to discuss issues and hear each other’s news and views about local care services. We also have a website through which individuals can comment using our “Have Your Say” survey (have a look at www.linkdevon.org.uk ).We feed these views back to local Commissioners and the Care Quality Commission. We also use and promote the Patient Opinion website which collects comments from people about health services and feeds back to providers.
All available information about what people are saying about services help us to produce reports and recommendations which we then present to Commissioners and Providers, who are bound by law to respond in a meaningful manner in 20 days upon receipt. On our website you can see examples of our work such as the report about Access to Emotional Well Being Services, and the LeavingHospital report. We also contribute to “Quality Accounts” which must be made public every year by Foundation and NHS Trusts. We tell people about our work through a newsletter which you can sign up to receive via email or through the post. Please use the contact details at the end of this briefing if you wish to receive news on a regular basis.
In April 2013, a new organisation called Healthwatch will expand the work of Local Involvement Networks. Until then, you can continue to feed in your views about your care as above.
will be the new independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public.
“Healthwatch England will act as a champion for those who sometimes struggle to be heard.”
Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch.
Healthwatch will play a role at both national and local level and will make sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account.
Healthwatch England, launching in October 2012, will work with local Healthwatch and will also:
- advise the NHS Commissioning Board, English local authorities, Monitor and the Secretary of State.
- have the power to recommend that action is taken by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) when there are concerns about health and social care services.
Local Healthwatch, launching in April 2013, will take on the work of the Local Involvement Networks (LINks) as described above, and will also:
- represent the views of people who use services, carers and the public on the Health and Wellbeing boards set up by local authorities.
- provide a complaints advocacy service from 2013 to support people who make a complaint about services.
- report concerns about the quality of health care to Healthwatch England, which can then recommend that the CQC take action.
If you wish to get involved now, LINk Devon local Community Involvement Coordinators are:
Margaret Conkey (North Devon) Jill Perry (Teignbridge and South Devon)
Dawn Lawrence (Mid Devon) Angela Rose (West Devon)
Caroline Lee (Exeter and East Devon)
Please telephone 01404 549045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.