Swindon Local Involvement Network (LINk) chair Val Vaughan has welcomed the Great Western Hospital board’s decision to meet in public on Thursday 28 October, 2pm, at the Academy on Great Western Hospital’s lower ground floor.
Mrs Vaughan said, “when the GWH Foundation Trust was established, its board meetings were not open to the public which was at variance with the behaviour of many public bodies, Swindon primary care trust and the borough council.
"Whilst we recognise that some business has to be confidential and needs to be debated in private, the Trust ran the risk of being accused of not being as accountable to the wider public as it might have been. Even with its Foundation Trust membership of local people, its elected local governors and so on, important debates were not open to much scrutiny.
“Now the situation has changed and I welcome it. Board meetings in public like this Thursday’s are just one way in which local people can see and hear how reports about our local hospital’s performance are debated and decisions on its future direction are reached. There is also an important opportunity for the public to ask questions which relate to agenda items.
“It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but we would encourage local people to attend, ask questions and listen to the debate.
More details are available on the Trust- www.gwh.nhs.uk/index.php
Local Involvement Networks are the main (but certainly not the only) mechanism for involving and engaging citizens in health and adult social care planning, influencing changes and improvements. They were established in England under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
LINk participants are involved in scrutinising and commenting on the services that are being provided too. There is a Local Involvement Network in each social services authority area – there is a separate one in Wiltshire County called WIN.
Information about Swindon Local Involvement Network is available from the LINk office at Voluntary Action Swindon, 1 John Street SN1 1RT