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Inside this Issue: LINk Responses to... 2 Coming Soon...


First Leicestershire LINk Conference 3 Improving Health for Travelling Families 3 Communicating with LINk Members


LINk Representative Needed on the Leicestershire Health & Wellbeing Partnership Board 5 Leicestershire LINk Annual Report


Would you like the LINk to visit your group?


Out and About in the County


August 2009

Issue 3

Listening to Carers Thursday, 3 September 2009 Parklands Leisure Centre, Oadby 1.00 pm. to 4.30 pm. The Leicestershire LINk is organising its first event for carers. This will take place in September, which is Older Persons’ Month and will primarily focus on the concerns of carers of Older People. There will be speakers from Adult Social Care, Leicestershire County Council, NHS Leicestershire County & Rutland and Leicestershire Partnership Trust. The event will provide opportunities for you to learn more about services for carers, to discuss issues with the people who are responsible for providing the services and to meet other carers and share your experiences with them. This event will be part of the process in the LINk forming an Action Plan to take carers issues forward and work with carers in improving health and social care services. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity. Be there and be part of the Action!!!! If you can’t be there but have issues you would like to raise, then please contact the Leicestershire LINk.

LINk Training Programme Your Help is Needed


Contact Us


Link members can claim travelling expenses within Leicestershire and agreed care costs. For more information, please contact: contact Christine Middleton or Shanti Thanki on 0116 229 3103 or email or Page 1

LINk Responses to... Mental Health Concerns

Public Concerns

The Leicestershire LINk has been holding a number of consultations around the county to gain opinions and views of local people, voluntary groups and service and care providers. At the same time we have been listening to the views of our LINk members.

Members of the LINk Project Group have had some extremely pleasing results in addressing and assisting the Trusts and Social Care Department to resolve public concerns brought to the LINks attention. A number of ongoing pieces of work are progressing on a wide range of subjects ensuring that people with Parkinson’s disease get their medication at the right time when they are in care settings, Dementia, appropriate support for carers, Single Sex wards, the use of new cholesterol busting drugs, 084 telephone numbers, the provision of health services in rural communities and how new ways of providing services (Personalisation) will effect Social Care services.

One important wide-reaching area of interest is Mental Health, where we see a number of concerns affecting individuals, families and carers, advocates and service providers. In response to this, the LINk has formed a Mental Health Group whose role will be to listen to ongoing concerns and form task groups to tackle specific issues. The first meeting was in July 2009, when we met individuals, representatives from voluntary groups and statutory sectors. If you would like to know more, or where you can get involved, please contact, Ian Clowes, LINk Engagement Officer, Tel: 0116 229 3050 or email

The authority given exclusively to LINks enables us to obtain details and accountability from all NHS Trusts and the County Council Department of Adult Social Care with ANY service which is associated with them. This is in order that the views and opinions of ALL members of the public can be used to influence, change or revise services to closer meet that which the public desire. Everyone who contributes to LINks either by being an active LINks member, taking an active or passive role, joining one of the many working groups, or someone who just wishes to show an interest in what’s happening in Health and Social care, YOU are ALWAYS welcome and your contribution valued. Everyone has something they can contribute why not give it a try?

Coming Soon... An event on ‘Working with Adult Social Care Now and in the Future,’ which will take place in midOctober. The ‘first’ Leicestershire LINk Conference, will be held on Thursday, 24 September at the Leicester Marriott Hotel and will focus on ‘getting to know members’ - the work the LINk is doing and will be doing in the future. The Conference will run in the afternoon and be repeated with a slightly shorter programme in the evening, so that everyone can attend. We will keep you informed by letter, through the website and newsletters.

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First Leicestershire LINk Conference Thursday, 24 September - an important date for your diary Leicestershire LINk now has well over 200 members and we think its really important to get to know our members and report on what we are doing. Also probably more importantly, for LINk members to learn what is involved in becoming an active member of a group (and perhaps agreeing to join one). Also to find out about the LINk Work Programme and the health and social care issues we are working on. This will be our first major Conference, which will be held on Thursday, 24 September at the Leicester Marriott Hotel. But because it is a conference for LINk members, we really would welcome your input at the early planning stage. The Conference will be a half day event in the afternoon, which will be repeated in the evening, so that people who are not available during the day can also attend. What we would really like to know from you, is: •

are you aware of either social or health care issues that may affect you or your family, and which you feel also affects others in your local community, and should be discussed on the day?

what discussion groups would you be interested in?

do you think a choice of times (daytime and evening) is a good idea, and which one are you most likely to attend?

The Conference will also enable you to find out more about how the LINk is constituted and provide an opportunity for you to consider whether you might be willing to stand for election to the LINk Board. You will be receiving more information from us fairly soon but in the meantime, we really would like to hear your ideas for what would make a really interesting and useful First Leicestershire LINk Conference. Phone or email Gill Wollerton with your ideas - Tel: 0116 229 3028 or email

Improving Health for Travelling Families Ongoing work to improve the health and welfare of Travelling Families, has seen Leicestershire LINk working with the County Primary Care Trust, Gypsy and Traveller Health Ambassadors and representatives from the Emerald Centre, a charity who has pioneered a lot of work in this area. The results of this work have produced a proposal to improve access to health services which will be presented later this month. If this is accepted, it is hoped a pilot scheme would start this year. The wider plan would then be to include migrant workers into a similar scheme. Page 3

Communicating with LINk Members

Anita learning how to use the new LINk database

Communicating with members of the Leicestershire LINk is set to take a quantum leap as our information system goes live.

Within the next few weeks, we will be sending all LINk members an ‘About You’ form, which will enable us to find out more about your health and social care interests, how you would like to get involved, if there We have had rather a frustrating time over are any ‘action groups’ you would like to the last few weeks trying to sort out join, and importantly what you would like technical glitches with our new database the LINk to do. but hopefully by just hitting the return on our keyboards we will be able to keep LINk This information will be stored on our new members informed and up-to-date on database, so that we communicate with what’s happening in the LINk, send you easily and in a way that suits you. newsletters and information about working High tech is wonderful when it works! groups and conferences - as well as keep you posted about the latest health and social care news for Leicestershire. Part of what the database will enable us to do is to ‘sort’ members into their areas of interest, so that when particular health or social care topics arise, we will be able to contact those members who have said they want to be kept informed or involved. Page 4

LINk Representative Needed on the Leicestershire Health & Wellbeing Partnership Board LINk has been invited to represent the public on the Health & Wellbeing Partnership Board. The purpose of the Board is to agree the vision for Leicestershire’s future and to oversee the delivery of certain health priorities in the Local Area Agreement. It brings health and social care together, and is made up of members from Leicestershire County & Rutland Primary Care Trust, Leicestershire County Council, District Councils and the Voluntary Sector. The Board meets four times a year at County Hall and meetings usually last for 2 hours.

Support will be available for the Rep? The Role of the LINk Representative will be to represent the interests and perspective of LINk members (who are made up of the general public, voluntary & community groups). In order for you to do this, you will be supported by the LINk Host organisation, you will receive briefings and an induction, as well as a pre-meeting to go through the papers before the Partnership Board meeting. Travel and Care costs will be reimbursed.

Accountability •

You will need to have communication skills and an interest in health, social care and housing in Leicestershire.

You will be required to attend the Partnership Board meetings regularly, though we do hope to appoint someone who would be willing to deputise.

Provide a summary of the relevant proceedings and decisions made by the Board.

This is a really important role and vital that an element of public engagement happens through the LINk. If you would be interested or would like to know more, please contact Gill Wollerton on Tel: 0116 229 3028 or email

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Leicestershire LINk Annual Report We are pleased to announce we have produced our Annual Report for our first year of operation. In the introduction, Colin Headley, Chair of Leicestershire LINk reminds us that LINks set-up following the disbandment of Patient & Public Involvement Forums, which in our area did some excellent work. He mentions the two ‘forerunner’ conferences that Leicestershire County Council arranged so that individuals, voluntary groups and other statutory agencies could discuss what they wanted from a Leicestershire LINk. From April, the Leicestershire LINk was ‘in transition’ and a group made-up of individuals and voluntary groups, started to put the foundations in place for a ‘substantive’ LINk. In October the Host support organisation was appointed, and Colin pays tribute to CVS Community Partnership as “competent, enthusiastic and co-operative in all respects.” The Report itself covers the early development and agreeing all the necessary documents required to manage and monitor the working of the LINk. Being a completely new way of giving communities a voice about their health and social care services, great importance has been placed on meeting people at local events and raising awareness about the LINk and its purpose. The Report hails the official launch of the LINk on the 27 March as a huge success and a real milestone in our development. All the activities and what has been achieved is then listed in detail, together with the partnership working that has been achieved and where the LINk has provided representatives on planning committees. There is also a financial section, which details how the LINk has spent money during the year. In line with official guidance, the Leicestershire LINk Annual Report has been sent to the Secretary of State, the Primary Care Trust, Leicestershire County Council and other statutory organisations. Importantly, the Report is available to our LINk members on the website and can be sent to you on request.

Would you like the LINk to visit your group? If your organisation would be interested in a visit from the LINk to talk about our role, and the different ways in which everyone can be involved, please contact us. Our contact details are on Page 8 or you could visit the Leicestershire LINk website Page 6

Out and About in the County Since March this year we have been visiting market towns around our county to speak to local people about the LINk and to hear their views on local Health and Social Care services. The first event was in Loughborough, which was very well supported by LINk members who still managed to smile, despite the very stormy conditions. Local people were very happy to chat to us, and take shelter under our market stall. Hinckley was the next stop and the weather decided to improve, we had a good location which attracted a lot of attention and a chance to discuss plenty of issues. The LINk was also delighted to meet the Hinckley Older Voices Forum who have now started to work closely with us.

LINk members and staff talking to people in Loughborough on a very blustery day… ...but the LINk has received a very warm welcome wherever we have been!

The next stop on our county tour was Melton, where we again had a market stall. Promoting our own brand of consultation, we met lots of people who discussed their issues. The LINk has since been back to speak to members of the Latham House Patient Forum. The most recent event was Coalville, where we were again made very welcome by the market team and local people. Many issues were discussed and recorded on the day and have now been included in the work plan for the Leicestershire Link. These events have been very successful in reaching local people who wouldn't normally have had an opportunity to have their say. We will continue these through the summer and will be visiting the following towns: • • • • •

Market Harborough Wigston Oadby Lutterworth Ashby-de-la-Zouch

If you are a LINk member and can spare some time to come along to a future event, please contact Ian Clowes for more information. Page 7

Contact Us

LINk Training Programme - Your Help is Needed

The Leicestershire LINk covers Leicestershire and is hosted by CVS Community Partnership.

We are currently putting together a programme of training sessions and events, which will cover a broad range of subjects, such as understanding Social Care and Health structures, Enter and View and Equality & Diversity. The training days will principally be for LINk members but lots of events will be open to others. Some of the training will be repeated and will be held both during the day and in the early evening, so that it provides opportunities for everyone to attend. Most of these sessions will begin in September, so there will be advance notice, both through the LINk newsletter and on our website. However, we also know that there is a lot of skills and experience out there, which LINk members could greatly benefit from. So we are contacting you to see if you might be willing to share particular knowledge you may have through a training session. Some ideas on future training needs are listed below but these are not exhaustive. • • • •

Working with the media/or media skills. Being effective and confident at meetings. How to put a survey together. Engaging with young people.

Based at: Beaumont Enterprise Centre Boston Road Leicester LE4 1HB General email: Website: Gill Wollerton Project Manager Tel: 0116 229 3028 Email: Ian Clowes Engagement Officer Tel: 0116 229 3050 Email: Christine Middleton Engagement Officer Tel: 0116 229 3048 Email:

Shanti Thanki Information & Admin Officer So, if you have any ideas, or have Tel: 0116 229 3103 experience, and would be prepared to deliver a training session for LINk members, Email: please let us know - we really look forward to hearing from you.

Visit the Leicestershire LINk website: Page 8

Leicestershire LINk Newsletter (Issue 3)  

Link members can claim travelling expenses within Leicestershire and agreed care costs. Improving Health for Travelling Families 3 LINk Repr...

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