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LINks good practice online resources

15 May 2013

Disability Rights UK helping to strengthen the transition from LINks (Local Involvement Networks) to local Healthwatch

We have just finalised a partnership project after 1 1/2 years which culminated in the production of some resources to the benefit of local Healthwatch organisations but also other relevant community organisations such as Disabled People's User-Led Organisations. We are specifically responsible for the 'engagement' resource. The 'About' section on http://www.linkstogoodpractice.org.uk/ contains further background, and there are is also a repository of further relevant resources. This is the generic text which all four partners would use (or pick things out from):

Learning from the LINks- resources for Healthwatch launched

From April 2013 local Healthwatch replaced the Local Involvement Networks (LINks) as the "consumer voice" in health and social care. It is important that local Healthwatch learns from the experience of the LINks to ensure they become the best they can be, and to prevent "reinventing the wheel".

The Department of Health commissioned a consortium of partners, including Regional Voices, the Race Equality Foundation, Disability Rights UK and NAVCA, to deliver training for LINk members in key skills around leadership and governance, engagement, representation and influencing decision making. Following from this work, the partners were asked to research good practice in the LINks, to share as a legacy for developing local Healthwatch. 90 people responded to the survey and 50 LINks were interviewed. These has led to resources being produced on four themes:

  • Leadership and Governance,
  • Engagement
  • Representation
  • Influencing.

The resources ensure that examples of good practice are not lost and that learning is accessible and easy to use. These resources stand as a legacy to the work of LINKs and are also intended to help volunteers and staff feel supported in the transition to local Healthwatch. We hope they will help local Healthwatch deliver a stronger voice for communities in the improvement of local health and social care services.

All the resources can be found on http://www.linkstogoodpractice.org.uk/

Thanks to all the LINks' members who were involved in this project and took the time what they had developed.