Abstracts: August 6th, 2008

A Local Involvement Network (LINk) has been set up in every area of England to help people influence or change the way local NHS and social care services are delivered. They are designed to help the community to speak with a stronger local voice and to help services provide better care. The networks will start operations in September 2008.

A LINk is made up of individuals and community groups who work together to improve local health and social care services. Groups can also join, for example charities, faith groups, residents’ associations, youth councils, black and minority ethnic organisations, and business federations.

The role of the networks is to find out what people like and dislike about local health and social care services, and to work with the people who plan and run them to help make them better. A LINk can look into specific issues of concern to the community, like a dirty hospital and make recommendations to the people who plan and run services, and expect a response. It can also carry out spot checks.

If there is concern that action is not being taken it can refer issues to the local council Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Further information about LINk are available from DoH.