Newsletter Issue 7
New Chair for Leicestershire LINk LINk Board members have elected John Baker as their new Chair. Commenting on his new appointment, John said, “I am delighted and honoured to be the Chair of the Leicestershire LINK Board, and I hope we can achieve a lot in the months ahead. For the last 25 years, I have been leading companies in the Home Improvement industry. My wife is a Nursing Practitioner in Derbyshire and I often used to say ‘well in business we would do this differently’, so, when I retired from full time working she said – ‘now put some theory into practice’. I joined the Public and Patient Forum in Leicestershire, which has been superseded by LINks. I joined the LINk Board in October 2008 and headed the Communications Group. Recently, the Board, some committee members and the Host team spent a day mapping out a future vision for the LINk. It was a successful day and demonstrated just what a team effort is required. Really we have only just got off the ground and there is a tremendous amount of work to do. We need to reach more groups of people than we do at present. The Project and Task Groups have a lot on their plate already but we need to move faster and for this we need more members to get involved. I particularly look forward to support from the two Vice Chairs; Colin Headley who was the Chair during the set-up of LINks and has undertaken priceless and unsung work in areas such as Governance and Eric Charlesworth
(L-R) Colin, John and Eric who has 40 years experience and expertise in social care and heads the Project Group. Along with other Board members and the Host, we look forward to growing the influence of Leicestershire LINk in helping to listen, promote and enhance Health and Social Care and Community Services in our county. Finally we are on the lookout for more Board and Committee members, so if you would like to make a difference, please contact Gill.”
Inside this issue: ww ww ww ww ww ww
BME Task Group LINk Involvement NHS Car Parking Consultation Mental Health Group Neurological Issues Policy Information at Your Fingertips
Website: www.leicestershirelink.org.uk Email: email@example.com Tel: 0116 229 3103
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 2
You Talked and Leicestershire LINk Working Together to Improve Our Local Hospitals... Our local hospitals, which include the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester General Hospital, are bidding to become a foundation trust. We wanted to know if this was the best thing to happen. NHS foundation trusts are different from NHS trusts as they are not directed by the Government and by becoming a foundation trust, patients should have greater freedom to decide on their own treatment and the way in which services are run. Our local hospitals outlined their proposals in a document called “From good to... Great!” and we were keen to find out what our members thought. We hosted two events in the county, so that an explanation could be provided on how foundation trust status could benefit patients and families. We also gave local people an opportunity to ask questions to the ‘big players’ at our local hospitals. The Chief Executive, the Acting Medical Director and the Director of Communications and External Relations attended the events and were able to answer key questions from LINk members.
What did we do with the information from the events? We have collated people’s views to put in a response to University Hospitals of Leicester’s (UHL) consultation and we have also ensured the questions and answers were recorded and disseminated to all those who attended. A copy of these can be found on our website.
What next? We will ensure we keep you informed of the progress of UHL’s application and let you know of anything that we think may interest you.
Last but not least... The events would not have been a success without those who made the extra effort to attend and contribute to the response. Leicestershire LINk would like to give a special thanks to the local people as well as the representatives from UHL who attended. For further information please contact Saima.
Your Questions of Elderly People’s Homes Answered There has been considerable interest in the possible transfer/ closure of the nine care homes in Leicestershire, the transfer and development of Catherine Dalley Elderly People’s Home and Silverdale Hostel site in Melton. The LINk responded by organising two events in March where representatives from the County Council could discuss concerns and answer questions. The events provided a good opportunity for people to ask questions of Leicestershire County Council and to make their views heard. There was strong feeling from LINk members that if the Council was unable to transfer the Homes, then they should remain open and that Day Centres attached to the Care Homes should remain open. Everyone’s comments and those received by email were incorporated into a response from the LINk, which was sent to the County Council. If you would like a copy of the LINk report regarding the public meetings and response submitted to Leicestershire County Council then please contact Kamini.
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 3
We Listened... NHS Car Parking Debated The Department of Health launched a consultation document at the end of last year, which sought views on whether it was viable to remove car parking fees for patients and visitors, or introduce a scheme just for those admitted for a long stay. The idea was to find a balance which was fair and sustainable in the long term. Leicestershire LINk knows from its members that this is an extremely important issue and that having ill health can be very expensive. It was for this reason, that the LINk decided we should hold our own consultation event to find out what people thought about the proposals and submit them in a report to the Department of Health. University Hospital of Leicester (UHL) were invited to inform members of why they charge for parking and to hear Leicestershire LINk membersâ€™ suggestions. There were many questions about the pay and display car parks and the reasons why the same parking system as the one that is available at Leicester Royal Infirmary is not feasible at Leicester General and Glenfield Hospital. Some LINk members complained to UHL that they were not aware that car parking concessions are available in specific cases. They also made the point that finding a place to park, as well as having to pay, adds an additional stress to patients.
Members present were pleased with the response they received from UHL and were sympathetic to the difficult decisions they have to make. There was then discussion on what would represent a fair charge; what outpatients with regular appointments should have to pay; and the availability of convenient parking was the number one priority. They also agreed that free parking for everyone was not feasible and understood that it could cause a different set of problems. These comments were all incorporated into the report. The Department of Health will use the responses collected by Leicestershire LINk and from the wider consultation nationally to issue further guidance to improve patient benefits. Depending on the results, changes to the primary legislation may be necessary.Â For a copy of the full report, produced by Leicestershire LINk please contact Kamini. Following the national consultation, the Department of Health should be issuing a report later this year.
Is there an issue you would like to raise? Please contact the Leicestershire LINk team!!
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 4
Getting Involved with the LINk Leicestershire LINk is delighted that we have a lot of new members who have joined us recently. This is really great news as it is only by lots of us working together, that we will bring about improvements to our local health and social care services – strength in numbers. You can be involved in any of the following groups and we really would encourage you to. If you are not sure, then please contact us for more detail, or alternatively just come along and see if it’s for you. The LINk has a number of Subgroups, some working on health and social care, whilst others are more to do with the running of the LINk – these tend to meet more regularly. We also have a lot of Task Groups, which are working on specific issues that have been raised, either at our conferences and events, or identified as we’ve being going out and talking to people.
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For more information on getting involved, please contact Gill Wollerton - firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 229 3103
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 5
Title of Group
What it does
When meetings are held and how often
Works on health and social care issues, concerns raised by Leicestershire communities and makes decisions on the LINk Work Programme and the need for ongoing work and research
Meets on the second Monday of every month at 10.30am usually at the Host Office base. The next meeting is on 14th June
Decides and plans the publicity and awareness campaigns for the LINk
Meets every 6 weeks. The next meeting is 23rd June
Oversees the budget and agrees spend for the LINk, ensuring effective use of funding
Meets bi-monthly, next meeting to be convened
Decides on and produces the policies and procedures necessary to ensure the LINk runs effectively
As all the important policies and procedures are in place, this Group now only meets when required
Mental Health Task Group
Widen participation for service users, voluntary and statutory sector organisations and the public to improve Mental Health services and awareness for Leicestershire
Students Mental Health Task Group
Works closely with the Universities, NHS Trusts and Adult Social Care to improve access to services and change national policy regarding students in higher education with Mental Health issues
Students Health Task Group
Works with the Universities and students to improve general health and health awareness
First meeting held May 2010
Young Peopleâ€™s Task Group
Represents young peoples views and opinions, health needs and requirements to service providers and commissioners
First meeting in May 2010 to form a Task Group to work on a Summer Health Event on 10th July 2010 Will meet quarterly
Carers Task Group
Will be working on issues raised by Carers at a LINk conference
First meeting held in May 2010, next meeting is 10th June
Adults and Communities budget cuts
New Group, which is concerned about the savings Leicestershire County Council social care services are having to make and how this will effect services
Next meeting to be scheduled
Gypsy and Travelling Brings together all interested parties to Families Group represent the Health & Social Care needs of this hard to reach community
Meets ad hoc next meeting May 2010
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 6
NHS Trust Signs Up to Working Protocol with LINk NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland and Leicestershire LINk have signed up to a protocol for working together in a bid to give patients more of a voice on local healthcare issues. The protocol was created as the Trust, its provider arm Community Health Services and the LINk want to ensure that patients and the public have an active voice in determining the shape and delivery of health services across Leicestershire. John Gant, chairman of NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland, said: “This working protocol sets out a standard for how the Trust and the LINk want to work together in the future for the benefit of patients, carers and the wider public.” The working protocol was signed at the Trust’s headquarters in Enderby on Monday 10th May and aims to:
Get both organisations to involve patients and the public in the planning and developing of both new and existing health services
Actively listen to and seek feedback from patients, carers and the public
Remain sensitive to the differing needs, values and preferences of patients, carers and the public
left, e, from r a l o c o Gant. ing prot n d John he work a t r g e in k n a Sig ohn B adley, J Colin He
Ensure patients, carers and the public are fully engaged in the commissioning, design and delivery of service provision and information.
John Baker, chairman of Leicestershire LINk, added: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland. We already work very closely with the Trust and believe this protocol will further strengthen our relationship for the benefit of all patients in Leicestershire.
Young People Have Their Say Young members of Leicestershire LINk are being invited to attend a meeting to arrange an action packed, Health Awareness Day which will be held at a local sports venue. It will be a chance to meet other young people from across the county and to raise any issues around health. If you are aged 25 or under and would like to get involved in planning this event or have any comments, issues or ideas about the health services in your area then please get in touch with Ian.
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 7
Neurological Issues to be High on the Agenda The LINk is planning an exciting event in August looking at services for people who have neurological conditions. Neurological conditions are a widespread group including well known illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease and lesser known conditions such as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy or Fibromyalgia. These conditions affect significant numbers of the population but they often have a low profile in terms of public awareness and service provision. We will be inviting speakers from NHS Leicestershire County & Rutland, NHS Leicester City and UHL NHS Trust.
Policy Information at Your Fingertips... From hung parliament to a coalition The election has happened and we’re in a position that we’ve not been in since the end of the Second World War; we now have a coalition government in place between the Conservatives and the Liberals Democrats. Once published, the policy priorities will inform us which of the policies from the two party manifestos will become the government’s main concerns. It is clear from press releases that the government are keen to work on cutting Britain’s deficit, how they intend to do this, is still unclear. So what does the coalition document say about Health &Social Care? Well not much, the coalition document makes very little reference to Health or Social Care. What should the priorities be? Andrew Lansley the Secretary of State for Health has a major job ahead so, what if we passed over
This event will give you the opportunity to learn more about the services for people with neurological conditions and raise issues with senior staff from the health organisations who plan and deliver those services. We will also be inviting representatives from the voluntary sector who will be able to provide information about the services that they provide. Following the event we are hoping to set up a LINk Neurological Task Group, which will follow through issues identified by LINk members. We will be circulating details of the event to all LINk members so watch this space and don’t miss this exciting event. For more information please contact Christine.
this responsibility to you – what would you do? The telephone rings and it’s the Prime Minister asking you to become the new health secretary – your new job would make you responsible for:
£110 billion budget staff of more than a million the social care and health of the whole nation (no pressure!)
What would you do? What changes would you make first (if any)? What would your priorities be? Please do write in and let us know. On a serious note: We are still unsure of what the future holds for LINks however we do hope we can continue the impact driven work we’re doing. We are very keen to work with our local politicians; we have a number of things in common, in particular, creating better health and social care outcomes for Leicestershire's local people. Contact Saima if you would like to discuss any of the above.
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 8
Raising Awareness in Personalisation for BME Communities Personalisation is about giving more control to people over their own lives. It came about due to the Government Paper “Putting People First”. In the future it is not going to be Leicestershire County Council providing all social care services. There will be more of a choice and individuals will have more control. Anyone involved in providing social care, needing social care or has a friend or relative who would like or needs social care must be aware of the changes that are taking place. There have been a couple of meetings regarding raising awareness of personalisation amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups, although everyone could always do with more information! We would like
to visit BME groups to talk about the LINk and explain how the changes in adult social care could affect people. So if you belong to a group, know of a group or are an individual who is interested in ensuring people from our BME communities are aware of the LINk and Personalisation please get in touch with Kamini. Following a small introduction to personalisation when meeting groups, an event for all members will be held later this year.
Bagworth Wellbeing Clinic The first Wellbeing Clinic organised by Bagworth & Thornton Parish Plan Group, assisted by the Neighbourhood Action Team, took place on Tuesday April 20th at Bagworth Community Centre. Stalls offered advice on diet, exercise, nutrition, stopping smoking and information for carers. People were able to have blood pressure tests, diabetes checks, cholesterol and weight management assessments. Residents had the opportunity to talk to representatives from Leicestershire LINk, the Rural Community Council and Adult Education. There were plenty of healthy refreshments and snacks to try. LINk member, Joanne Brown said, “The impressive turnout, plus the interest and involvement of all who attended, reinforced everything we have been saying about the need for, at the very least, a part-time surgery in the parish. The Parish Plan published in 2008 highlighted the difficulties faced by residents of both villages in accessing healthcare, particularly those reliant upon public transport. The population of our parish has increased considerably in recent years and now
includes a large number of children and older people. We believe that it should be possible, perhaps using facilities within the Sure Start Centre to be built soon, to attract the interest of an outlying surgery in providing a part-time service here. Leicestershire LINk has been very supportive of our efforts to improve health provision to the parish by writing to NHSLCR to ensure that we have received acknowledgment of our own letters to them. ” Clinics are completely free and the next clinic will be in Thornton in September 2010.
Ian Clowes talking to an attendee at the Leicestershire LINk stand.
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 9
Starting to Make a Difference for Students Since forming the Students Mental Health Group, considerable progress has been made in comparing needs identified by students, against what services are actually there to support them. This has highlighted a range of health issues requiring further investigation, which won’t just affect local students but people attending universities throughout the country. Higher education students seem to have been overlooked in some of the calculations of the Strategic Health Authority when planning for future needs. The Group have decided in the short term to implement a programme of knowledge sharing between the universities and the mental health care providers. This will take the form of two workshops a year, where information and best practice can be shared. Another important step will be taken by creating a ‘Pathway to Services’ document, which will be produced by the universities and service providers. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the
members of this Group for their valued input and innovative thinking to address some of these important issues.
roup ealth G H l a t n ents Me ting. he Stu d t f o e ril’s mee p A Som t a s member
Joint Training Initiatives with WEA (Workers’ Education Association) Leicestershire LINk, in partnership with WEA, held two courses in March on; “How to talk to YOUR Doctor and other Health Professionals” and “How to Feel Confident in attending Meetings”. Both were very well attended and the participants walked away with smiles on their faces! Participants said the training had given them a real boost, and they; “Now had the confidence to ask people not to use jargon at meetings and to ask for clarification on very complex subjects that they couldn’t understand.” It prompted some to recall the difficult experiences at meetings but now felt they would try and speak in future meetings whilst others went away planning on attending a meeting.
Look out for more training from the LINk coming soon!
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 10
Welcome to New LINk Staff My name is Gemma Hammond and I am the newly appointed LINk Communication Officer. My role within the team is to raise awareness of Leicestershire LINk and promote the benefits of joining the LINk to the wider community. I am working on a variety of projects for the LINk including the website, publicity materials, membership, promotional campaigns and training opportunities. I will also be working closely with statutory partners and the media to make sure the voice of Leicestershire LINk is being heard far and wide. Contact Gemma - email@example.com / Tel: 0116 229 3103
Improving Health through Transport Would you like to be part of shaping the Leicestershire Transport system? Ever wanted to work with the Council to improve our current transport system? Well here is your opportunity... Transport affects us all and is very important, especially when many of the health and social care services that we require are not on our door step. Leicestershire LINk members have an excellent opportunity to influence and contribute to the development of Leicestershire County Councilâ€™s third Local Transport Plan. The development of a transport plan will initially be reviewing the vision and the priorities of Leicestershireâ€™s communities for a transport
system. They will then look into developing an implementation plan which will look at ways in which they can put their plans in place. Are you up for the challenge i.e. being a critical friend to the Council... we would like to offer this opportunity to 2 -3 LINk members who would like to get involved. Not too sure yet? If you would to discuss any of the above in more detail before making your decision, please contact Saima.
Skills Pledge Programme Leicestershire LINk has many voluntary organisations in membership who may be interested in the Skills Pledge which has been awarded to VOCOLLS. The Skills Pledge offers voluntary groups a way of improving the systems and the skills and knowledge of all the people within their organisation. This will show any weaknesses and help to address these through training and qualifications. Signing up to the Pledge, will help you when tendering for funding, grants etc. This is a great opportunity at no cost to you. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Duncan Squires firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 2293018.
Leicestershire LINk Newsletter 11
Keep An Eye Out... Throughout May, we are running a Leicestershire LINk awareness campaign on the backs of buses and launching our new posters. The bus adverts can be seen on Arriva and Paul James Coaches that run throughout the county.
Contact Us The Leicestershire LINk covers Leicestershire and is hosted by CVS Community Partnership. Based at: Beaumont Enterprise Centre Boston Road Leicester LE4 1HB Gill Wollerton Project Manager Tel: 0116 229 3028 Email: email@example.com
LINk bus poster
Ian Clowes Engagement Officer Tel: 0116 229 3050 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Christine Middleton Engagement Officer Tel: 0116 229 3048 Email: email@example.com
New LINk posters
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.
Kamini Patel Network Development Officer Tel: 0116 229 3029 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Saima Khan Policy Officer Tel: 0116 229 3104 Email: email@example.com Gemma Hammond LINk Communications Officer Tel: 0116 229 3103 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Leicestershire LINk website: www.leicestershirelink.org.uk