New sub group for LINk Devon

Your General Practice needs you!

Since January 2003 all NHS bodies have had a legal duty to involve and consult the public about the running of local health services. There are many ways to get involved as a citizen to influence and improve health and social care services in your area.

LINk Devon’s aim is to build and sustain a local, community based network of organisations and individuals committed to strengthening and widening the influence of patients, users of social care services and the public in the process of planning and improving health and social care services.

To support this aim, the LINk leadership group has formed a new sub group called the Clinical Commissioning sub group. This will help to raise the profile of the LINk with GP Practices across Devon. We hope by encouraging people to access the LINk and  via participation at your GP surgery,  that patient representation will be a route on which you can rely to get your voice heard.

By working with NHS Devon , our LINk would like to work towards influencing and supporting current and future patient representatives who recognise their accountability to you and your community. This means supporting existing and new Patient Participation Groups to understand the need for policy and processes which ensure public accountability in representative activities. At this initial stage, the sub group has been planning on how to explore the issues surrounding public accountability and how best to promote and support involvement in GP surgeries.

The Chair of the group, Bob Bryant, said,

“The reorganisation of the NHS is placing more responsibility on GPs. Therefore, LINk has set up a sub group whose aim is to work with GPs and Patients at Practice level to ultimately enhance shared decision making on commissioning issues. Patient representatives must recognise their responsibilities in the new arrangements.  LINk Devon is here to support the gaining of skills to enable people from all walks of life to participate with GPs in the shared decision making process.”

 Sub group participants attended a meeting at St Sidwell’s Community Centre in January.  Another scheduled meeting will take place in February.

 A survey is in distribution to all your GP surgeries in Devon. The intention is  to inform the development of  a learning activity based on best practice models of participation and representation.

Prior to Christmas, EDVSA staff held the first LINk Devon locality network groups which will enable people to become involved in raising local health and social care issues, hear more about health reforms and access training opportunities. Some members of patient participation groups have already attended these groups and heard more about Joint Strategic Needs Assessments  which will inform decision making about service commissioning and provision.

People who have a particular interest in local issues and who wish to become more informed about the planning of local health and social care services are invited to attend these meetings. The next meetings in some localities are dedicated to the development of Healthwatch. See the LINk Devon Facebook page for the dates in february to look out for.