The LINk Concept
Blackpool LINk is one of over 150 Local Involvement Networks (LINks) around the UK. Local Involvement Networks (LINks) were launched by the NHS in April 2008 following the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. They exist in every local authority area with a responsibility for NHS health care and social services.
LINks are made up of individuals and community groups, such as faith groups and residents' associations, working together to improve health and social care services. They aim to ensure that each community has services that reflect the needs and wishes of local people.
- LINks are responsible for:
- Finding out what people think of their local health and care services.
- Giving people a chance to suggest ideas to care professionals that help improve services.
- Looking into specific issues of concern to the community.
- Making recommendations to the people who plan and run services and ensuring a response is received from those people within a specified time period.
- Asking for information about services and ensuring information is received within a specified time period.
- Carrying out visits, when necessary, to see whether services are working well.
- Referring issues to the local council's health overview and scrutiny committee if it seems that action is not being taken.
The job of each LINk is to find out what people like and dislike about local services. The LINk then feeds this information back to health and social care providers, helping them to plan and deliver better and more relevant services.
The NHS Constitution sets out the rights and responsibilities of patients, the public and staff in relation to NHS care. It makes clear what you can expect from the NHS, and how you can play a part in making it even better. Becoming part of a LINk gives you an opportunity to put your rights into action. You will be able to help:
- Plan health and social care services.
- Develop proposals for changes to services.
- Make decisions that may affect how the services operate.
LINks also have certain powers and influence within health and social care that is funded by the public. For example, health and social care organisations have to allow LINks representatives onto their premises. They are also required to respond to suggestions made by LINks, and outline what action will be taken. LINks can also refer specific issues to the local council’s health overview and scrutiny committee.
In this way, LINks can use their power to make sure that your voice is heard, and that positive change occurs.
To find out more about LINks and their powers, please see:
NHS Choices website