Hampshire Local Involvement Network (LINk) - Better Health and Social Care for our Community
Hampshire Local Involvement Network (LINk) gives you the opportunity to influence your local health and care services. Anyone can get involved, and it has been set up to make sure that people in Hampshire get the health and social care services they need.
Hampshire LINk wants to hear about your experiences of health and social care services and your ideas for improvements or changes. It has the power to implement small changes and influence big changes.
Some of the greatest changes in the history of the NHS are expected to happen during the next 12 months in a financially challenging environment.
The Hampshire LINk will be replaced by a local Healthwatch which should bring closer co-operation with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). At present LINk has a commissioning scrutiny role with the PCT (NHS Hampshire) but in the future this commissioning role will be transferred to the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).There will be five CCGs covering Hampshire with Southampton, Portsmouth & Isle of Wight as seperate CCGs.
LINks are also involved in the steering committee of the Health & Wellbeing Boards being formed by the local authorities and in our case Hampshire County Council. The Board will seek to address the causes of ill health, enable lifestyle change, early detection and treatment of disease and will draw together commissioners across the NHS, public health, social care and children’s services. Members of the board will draw on their clinical expertise, local knowledge or understanding of the needs of patients, service users and the public to shape commissioning strategy.
These are busy but important times for us and there will be occasions when the immediacy of the moment may take precedence over our longer term plans.
We look forward to meeting you at some of our future public events.
What is a LINk?
LINks are made up of individuals and community groups who work together to improve local services. The job of a LINk is to find out what people like and dislike about local services and work with the people who plan and run them to help make them better. This may involve talking directly to health and social care professionals about a service that is not being offered or suggesting ways that an existing service could be made better.
LINks also have powers to help with the tasks and to make sure changes happen.
Why get involved?
There are a number of benefits to becoming involved in a LINk, which include:
- getting attention for neglected issues or ideas
- influencing those who make decisions about new or existing services
- helping the community speak with a stronger local voice
- helping services provide better care
Be a part of a LINk
It’s up to you how and when you get involved - you can just comment on issues when contacted or you can get more involved – by helping to raise awareness of an issue or by helping to find solutions (for example - meeting providers or being part of a working group).
Support your local community - Join one of our Locality Teams
We are always looking for people to help us build strong relationships with local community and service user groups so we can understand what really matters to them and how the LINk can provide support.
By joining one of our Locality Volunteer Teams you will be getting out in your local community and attending meetings and events, talking to people and logging any issues raised. These issues will then be investigated by the LINk so that we can work with service providers to make changes and improvements wherever possible.
Some of the big issues will include:
- Ambulance services
- Out of Hours
- Hospitals and specialists
- Mental Health Services
- Community Based services e.g. GPs, dentistry, pharmacy, opticians
- Adult Social Care
To volunteer for this role you will need to commit on average one day per week. Full training and an induction session will be given as well as ongoing support. No CRB required. We would be particularly interested to hear from people who have a knowledge of health and social care services, perhaps through work or personal experience, although this is not essential.
for more information.
With Healthwatch on the horizon, it is likely that your support and time will be welcomed by the new organisation that runs Healthwatch. So in joining the Hampshire LINk we will ensure your details are passed on to ensure continued work in health and social care.