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The LINk is a network of local people, voluntary and community organisations and groups that want to make health and social care services better for everyone.
This is your chance to have a real say in health and social care services, to get involved in a network and forum where your views can be heard by the people who are responsible for paying for (commissioning) and providing health and social care services in South Gloucestershire.
This includes all health services from GP services, through to community health services such as physiotherapy, to all the services that exist in your local hospitals.
The social care services that the LINk can influence extend through all the adult social care services provided locally; including care homes, day care, respite and holiday care and the care provided in people’s homes.
Who can take part?
Anyone who lives in and/or receives health or social care services in South Gloucestershire.
The LINk’s membership is small at the moment and urgently needs people from the local community who feel strongly about local health and social care services.
You can become part of the new way to have a say about local health and social care services, and about the way they are run and developed, by joining the South Gloucestershire Local Involvement Network.
What can the LINk do?
The LINk has been working since July 2008, and can have a real influence on health and social care services.
It works closely with your local NHS and your local authority; it can bring issues to the attention of the local services and receive a response from local authority commissioners, and also to bodies such as the Healthcare Commission.
It has the power to occasionally inspect health and social care services where it has negotiated to do so with the service provider, and to overview and scrutinise committees.
The LINk will make it easier for communities’ voices to be heard about health and social care.
It will be able to make reports and recommendations and get a reply within a set amount of time, go into some types of services to see what they do, comment on local services and receive a response from local authority commissioners.
Working groups will take forward issues about local health and social care services to the service commissioners and providers.
How to get involved
You can participate in the LINk as much or as little as you wish, from receiving information regularly to being involved in working groups.
You can join the LINk as an individual or as a representative of a voluntary or community group.
The LINk is looking for people to participate in working groups. You can sign up for these groups if you are already involved in the LINk, or anyone can get involved - you don’t have to be a LINk participant already.
Working groups cover many issues related to LINk work and to local health and social care services including:
- Community Engagement
- Direct Payments
- Frenchay Hospital
- Community Care
Of particular interest to the people of Yate is the Yate Community Health and Social Care Centre working group. As some of you will know, the new centre is being built now.
The PCT have approached the LINk to ask for people to get involved in planning how some aspects of the services to be located there are delivered to local people.
There will also be a working group looking at the prospective developments for Thornbury Community Hospital in 2009.
If you would like to participate in the LINk and become part of the way for local organisations and people to have their say about local health and social care services, and about the way they are run and developed, please contact Sarah Booker - Development and Information worker for South Gloucestershire LINk:
Tel: 0117 9589651/9589349
Or write to: The Care Forum, Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Bristol BS16 2QQ
For more information, click here to visit www.linksouthglos.org.uk
LINk on Facebook
The LINk now has its own Facebook page as well as a Facebook group. This is mainly intended to encourage the involvement of young people but also to spread the word about the LINk a little further.
To find the page, log on to Facebook and then search for South Gloucestershire LINk.
If you have any suggestions for how we could improve it please get in touch.
The South Gloucestershire LINk is hosted by The Care Forum, an independent voluntary organisation which works across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.