Posted: Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:15
This publication outlines the government's response to a consultation on proposals for greater patient involvement and choice. It outlines how patients will have a choice in provider when they are first referred to see a specialist in secondary care. It also outlines broader plans to increase patient involvement and patient choice.
Posted: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 14:25
The department of health has released a diagram that gives an overview of the new health and care system from April 2013. It illustrates the statutory bodies that will make up the new system, oriented around people and communities and where they receive their local health and care services. The illustration of local health services is indicative of a range of familiar settings for health and care services and is not intended to be comprehensive – the range of services available and the way in which they are delivered will vary according to local priorities.
Find out more at http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/system-overview-diagram/
Posted: Mon, 06 Aug 2012 11:51
People are being urged to have their say on the creation of a new health watchdog for Leicestershire.
As you are aware, Healthwatch will be an independent body, able to voice the public's views on health and social care services in the area. Leicestershire County Council wants to hear the public's views, before it commissions a healthwatch group to start in April next year. It is consulting the public between August 1 and September 19th.
To find out how you can have your say, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/healthwatchleicestershireconsultation
Posted: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 15:05
The Government's controversial reforms to the NHS have now become law. The Health and Social Care Bill has gained Royal Assent to become the Health and Social Care Act (2012).
The core principles of the Act mean that doctors and nurses will be able to tailor services for their patients; more choice will be given to patients over how they are treated.
Posted: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 11:06
On Friday 2nd March the Department of Health announced new proposals for HealthWatch. They are to be debated by the House of Lords this week and assuming their approval HealthWatch Leicestershire will be established, by the County Council as a corporate body carrying out statutory functions, and there will be greater flexibility on how it is established. The County Council, in consultation with the LINk and the local community, will decide what HealthWatch Leicestershire should look like.
The Government has published 'Local Healthwatch: a stronger voice for people - the policy explained' which gives a lot more information.
We are looking forward to working with the County Council to make sure that HealthWatch Leicestershire really meets the aspirations of the LINk, and those of the people of Leicestershire when it is comes into being in April 2013. We will let you know more as the discussions develop.
Geoff Smith, HealthWatch Lead, LINk Board
Posted: Thu, 07 Jul 2011 14:09
Geoff Smith, HealthWatch Lead, LINk Board
The Government ‘Listening Exercise’ has ended, the Government response has been published and Government amendments tabled for the Health and social Care Bill which has been re-committed to the Bill Committee, with a tight deadline of 14th July for completion. Report stage will follow before the recess and the Bill will then be considered by the Lords in September.
For LINks the outcome is disappointing. The many matters raised by LINks and NALM have not been understood or acted on. The only amendment to the relevant clauses is to make LHW subject to the Equalities Act 2010. NALM, LINks and individuals are pressing the Bill Committee and MPs, and will press the Lords, to secure the changes in the Bill that are essential if LHW is not to be ‘set up to fail’. The principal issues are:
- Local HealthWatch will not be seen by patients and the public and particularly by users of social care services as independent. A body that is commissioned, funded and performance managed by a Local Authority is perceived to be subject to influence, direct or indirect, of the officers and Members of the Council and so unable to make unbiased reports and interventions.
- The experience of Local Involvement Networks in securing adequate funding for their work from the grants made to local authorities by the Department of Health does not inspire confidence that there will be adequate funding for the greatly extended functions given to Local HealthWatch. Without such funding there will be no consistent Local HealthWatch service, the public will be confused and the reputation of HealthWatch will be irreparably damaged.
- HealthWatch England is to be established at the same time as Local HealthWatch. A great deal of work is in progress throughout the country by Local Involvement Networks, Councils and Primary Care Trusts to plan and prepare for Local HealthWatch. HealthWatch England will have an important relationship with Local HealthWatch and it should be established in shadow form in October 2011 so that these relationships can be established before plans for the establishment of Local HealthWatch are finalised.
- The Department of Health has indicated that although there will be national branding for HealthWatch there will be no national publicity campaign to encourage people to understand that it offers, how it can help them, and how to contact Local HealthWatch. The private sector should be invited to work with HealthWatch to provide a sponsored national campaign.
- It is not in the public interest, or the interest of the Coalition Government, for HealthWatch to be set up in a way that will mean that, despite the work of volunteers and staff, it will fail.
Posted: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 11:44
John Baker, Leicestershire LINk Chair
Leicestershire LINk is pleased to hear the Government has finally listened to our views with regards to the unrealistic timetable set for NHS Reform. The LINk has said from the very beginning that in order for there to be a smooth transition into Local HealthWatch, a realistic timetable would need to be in place. However, we would like to see HealthWatch England set up well in advance of Local HealthWatch in order to provide basic guidance, so that the delay we had in establishing LINks could be avoided.
Posted: Thu, 05 May 2011 12:17
Saima Khan, LINk Policy Officer
Some of you may be aware RT Hon Stephen Dorrell is not only a Charnwood MP, but is currently the Chairman of the House of Common’s Health Select Committee.
The LINk/Local HealthWatch Transformation Task Group has been keeping busy lobbying our local MPs on a number of changes we would like to the Health and Social Care Bill.
Task Group members; John Baker, LINk Chair, Geoff Smith, LINk Board Member and HealthWatch Advisor, Gill Wollerton, LINk Project Manager and I went along to meet with Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell. He was very sympathetic to our concerns regarding the Health and Social Care Bill and agreed to support and help in the following three areas:
1. Support for our pursuit for Pathfinder status
By becoming a Pathfinder, we will be able to test out some of the additional functions which LINks will gain in 2012. Currently, together with Leicestershire County Council we are putting our bid in to the Department of Health.
2. Raise the issue of GP Consortia and Public accountability at the Health Select Committee
We would like the GP Consortia to meet in public and have been very fortunate to following the meeting to have a seat on one of the GP Consortia Boards.
3. Speak to Jo Williams, Chair of Care Quality Commission enquiring why HealthWatch England isn’t being set up ‘tomorrow’ i.e. as soon as possible
We do not want history to repeat itself; therefore it is important that HealthWatch England is set up as soon as possible, especially in the interest of patients and the public, to ensure a smooth and seamless transition from LINks to LHW.
It was a pleasure meeting RT Hon Stephen Dorrell and we hope our concerns will be shared with those down in WhiteHall, but … our work doesn’t stop here. The LINk is still at the forefront of making a difference and we will keep lobbying our MPs over some of the reforms being made.
If you would like to get involved, please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 2293048