What is to happen to the NHS and adult social care services locally and nationally – and how can local people influence services to make them better? asks Jo Osorio, right, of the other Link – Swindon Local Involvement Network.
On Wednesday 18 May Swindon LINk holds an open meeting from 10.30am to 3.30pm, with a light lunch included, at the Pilgrim Centre, Regent Street to discuss these questions.
Key speakers will include Cherry Jones, acting joint director of public health in Swindon and Lyn Hill-Tout, chief executive of Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust.
Even though the coalition government has called a ‘time for reflection’ on the Health and Social Care Bill on its way through parliament, plans to establish Healthwatch Swindon as the local health and care consumer watchdog are beginning to take shape.
The bill includes big changes to the way health and care will be planned and commissioned in future with local GPs taking a bigger role. And from next April local people should have greater influence over what is provided and paid for with public funding – and how.
Local Involvement Network (LINk) chair Derek Benfield said, “our open meeting will begin to help us shape how we develop the LINk into Healthwatch Swindon during the next twelve months.
“We do need to know if Link magazine readers plan to come on 18 May so we can organise the catering – so please get in touch.”
For details contact the LINk office at Voluntary Action Swindon, 1 John Street. Tel: 497777
Local policy on NHS paying for complementary and alternative therapy up for review
Swindon Local Involvement Network (LINk) wants more people will join a small discussion group with Swindon primary care trust (PCT) during the morning of Friday 20 May to discuss the local policy on the NHS paying for complementary and alternative therapies.
Each local primary care trust decides on local policies like this – what the NHS will pay for locally and what it won’t. Swindon LINk has encouraged Swindon PCT to involve local people in this review and five more places are now available on 20 May.
Tiina Korhonon, clinical effectiveness manager at Swindon PCT said, "the workshop offers an opportunity for interested people to bring forward information and evidence on the use of complementary therapies to inform the policy updating. The draft policy, informed by the workshop, will then go through the formal PCT consultation process and the final ratification will take place at the Board."
LINk steering group chair Derek Benfield adds "this is an important opportunity to influence the way local policies are developed and NHS money is spent."
More details about the event are available from the LINk office at Voluntary Action Swindon, 1 John Street SN1 1RT; computer users can see the Primary Care Trust policy statements online at http://www.swindonpct.nhs.uk/publications/Policies.aspx