What_is_a_LINK by ashrafp

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									      Local Involvement Networks (LINKs)

What is a LINK?

In the Local Government and Public Involvement Act 2007, LINKs were established
from April 2008 to give communities a stronger voice in how their health and social
care services are delivered. They are run by local people and groups and the role of
the LINK is to make it easier for communities to say what they want and to talk with
people who plan and run health and social care services. LINKS:
      are open to local individuals, organisations and groups to join
      cover all publically funded health and social care in hospitals, the community
        or in people’s homes
      find out what people like and dislike about local services
      feed these views back to providers
      monitor the care services are providing
      use their powers to hold services to account
      can refer matters to Overview and Scrutiny Committees for local councillors
        to become involved in


LINKS aim to:

Provide a strong independent voice:
The LINK is not run by any public or government organisation and is totally
independent as it is run by the community of individuals. Each LINK is supported by
an organisation with experience of engaging a wide range of people.

Be representative:
The LINK will aim to ask every section of their community for their views and
experiences of health and social care services and provide a platform to those who
might not often have their voice heard.

Make involvement count:
Many people who receive health or social care services would like to influence
services but may not have the time to join groups or sit on committees. LINKs will try
to provide different ways for more people to get involved such as completing
surveys, circulating information on the internet or holding one off events to discuss
issues and services. LINKs will offer the opportunity for those that want to become
more involved such as working on an issue or joining a group that governs a LINK.


For LINKs to realise their potential they will need the expertise and skills of people
who use health and social care services, together with people and organisations who
are experienced at representing their communities.

LINKS provide an opportunity for local people and organisations to speak with one
voice and have real influence over key decision makers. They can help councils,
NHS, providers and social care commissioners to listen and respond to a wide range
of views so that people, groups and organisations can influence all health and social
care services. LINKs can help develop proposals for changes to services and
compile reports of their findings which Health and Social Care organisations have to
respond to stating what action they will be taking.


What are the benefits of being involved?

        Help services to provide better care
        Help your community speak with a stronger voice
        To draw attention to neglected issues or ideas
        LINKs provide opportunities for individuals, groups and organisations
         across communities to work together to make a difference
        The more people that get involved the stronger and more influential it
         becomes


How to become involved

Each local authority area will have a LINK set up for people to join. The LINK will be
producing newsletters/leaflets about their work as well as producing an Annual
Report at the end of June each year showing what they have done in the previous
year. This may be publicised on the Social Services website. If not details of your
local LINK can be found on the NHS Choices website or
www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/links

								
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