Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Health and Social Care Networking; Health and Social Care Involvement Networks in the Region Have Published Their Annual Reports. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Takes a Look
Byline: HELEN RAE
A NORTH East group have published annual reports outlining how they have made a difference to health and social care services over the past year.
Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Local Involvement Networks (LINks) were established in 2008 by the Department of Health to provide a channel through which local people, community and voluntary groups can express their views and concerns on health and social care services.
Through LINks people can become involved in specific community issues and make recommendations to the organisations that run and commission health and social care services on improvements.
The production of an annual report is a statutory requirement of all LINks.
Reflecting on the last year John Robson, chair of North Tyneside LINk said: "This last financial year has been a very busy period for the North Tyneside LINk.
"Some of the highlights include work LINk members have been involved with that has resulted in improvements to appointment systems at GP surgeries and the work some of our younger members undertook to highlight their experiences of health services in the form of an educational DVD. We have also contributed to local and national health and social care plans through our responses to consultations around the NHS and public health white papers, the formation of HealthWatch and an assessment of pharmaceutical needs for the borough."
Cynthia Atkin, chair of Northumberland LINk said: "The publication of our annual report provides an opportunity to look back on the last 12 months.
"Looking forward we must continue to ensure the voice of local people is heard in health and social care decisions and respond to the changes outlined in the NHS White Paper, central to which will be the establishment of HealthWatch as a champion of the needs of patients and the public at all levels in the health and social care system. …