Head of Law,
Norfolk County Council,
Formal Complaint 2nd attempt.
I sent the attached formal complaint dated 30.04.08. On that same day. The letter was sent 1st class and Mr Hayman’s office would have received it the next day. The letter was not marked confidential nor did it have any other marking.
Your complaints policy states: “The complaint will be acknowledged by letter or email within five working days of receipt of the complaint by the Council. The standard for giving a substantive response is 15 working days from the date of acknowledgement. The target for meeting this standard is 95% of complaints. The acknowledgement letter will include an explanation as to the action being taken and by whom.”
I have received no acknowledgement.
The official LINks Guide No 7 says: “The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 makes clear that Local Authorities must make arrangements for LINk activities to take place from 1 April 2008. This is to ensure that there is no ‘gap’ between the abolition of Patient Forums and the start of LINks. Local Authorities that have not procured a Host by 1 April must make other arrangements to ensure that LINks activities can take place during a ‘transitional phase’. The transitional phase can last up to 30 September whilst the Local Authority tries to find a suitable Host organisation.”
Guide No 7 also says:
“What activities should be undertaken in the transitional phase?
It will take time to establish effective LINks, but in transitional areas Local Authorities (or other transitional Hosts) can help emerging LINks take a number of steps to help them get going. These include:
- deciding governance and accountability arrangements – agreeing roles and responsibilities within the LINk and accountability to the wider LINk membership;
- setting clear aims – LINks are expected to ask every section of the community for their views and experiences, particularly providing a platform to those who might not often have their voice heard; LINks will be more successful if everyone involved has a shared vision;
- encouraging a broad membership – Local Authorities need to ensure that their “getting ready” activities involve a wide cross-section of the population,
- particularly involving recipients of social care services, and carers, not just health care groups;
- agreeing first priorities – priorities should be determined from feedback from local people and groups across health and social care; Patients Forums will be abolished in March, but their previous priorities should be considered alongside those of all other groups engaged within the LINk;
- developing policies and procedures – including making decisions about priorities for the work plan, a code of conduct about LINk ‘enter and view’ powers, handling conflicts of interest and whether volunteers will be paid expenses;
- mapping existing activity – creating a community profile, including ‘easy to ignore’ individuals and groups to identify – and avoid duplicating – what is already happening in the community to find out what works and where gaps exist;
- developing an engagement plan – raising awareness of the LINk, creative mechanisms for community engagement and participation, together with relationship building with key local stakeholders, such as commissioners and providers; and
- agreeing a LINk work plan – ensuring that there is a clear mechanism for setting priorities for the work programme, remembering that LINks are about health and social care.
At the point of this second formal complaint I would also like to point out that I had also requested a copy of the draft host contract. I have heard nothing.
c.c. Tony Tomkinson, County Councillor for Clavering.