Healthcare watchdog wheels are starting to turn

Have you heard about the Westminster Local Involvement Network? Also known as the LINk, it is the new way for people to have a say in how health and social care services are provided in Westminster. The LINk will listen to people about their needs and th

Have you heard about the Westminster Local Involvement Network? Also known as the LINk, it is the new way for people to have a say in how health and social care services are provided in Westminster.

The LINk will listen to people about their needs and their experiences of services in Westminster.

It will then feed this information back to the people responsible for commissioning, providing and managing health and social care services to change things for the better.

The LINk will have legal powers to assist it with its work.


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These powers include entering and viewing certain premises where services and care are provided, requesting information from service providers, and making recommendations on how to improve services.

Service providers in Westminster will have a statutory duty to respond to the LINk.

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The Westminster LINk is currently in its early stages of planning. Local charity Voluntary Action Westminster (VAW) has been contracted to begin building the foundations for the LINK.

They will be holding two consultation events to allow people a chance to comment on what the LINk should look like and how they would like it to operate.

One session will be held on the morning of Tuesday July 15 from 11am to 1pm at St Mark's Church at 245 Old Marylebone Road.

The other event will be held on Monday July 21 from 6pm to 8pm at Abbey Community Centre, 34 Great Smith Street.

Getting involved in the early stages really puts the power in your hands.

These events will be an excellent opportunity to have your say and to meet other people who care about health and social care services.

The events are free and refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend, please book your place by contacting Gayle Muers on

020-7535 0499 or gmuers@vawcvs.org or Jill Mulelly on 020-7535 0487 or jmulelly@vawcvs.org.

If you require special assistance, please inform them when you book your place.

The Westminster LINk will not be fully established until autumn 2008 but it has already has more than 60 members signed up.

You do not need to have experience of working in health or social care and membership is flexible.

Levels of involvement could range from attending a public meeting to taking in part in an inspection of a hospital ward or GP surgery.

You can also choose to only receive information about the LINk and then decide how and when you would like to get involved.

You can log on to www.vawcvs.org and click on Westminster Interim LINk for further information about the project.

If you would like to join the Westminster LINk or if you have a suggestion on how to improve services, please contact Gayle Muers on 020-7535 0499 or gmuers@vawcvs.org

Kim Michaelis, officer for the Westminster Interim LINk Project.

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