HELLO THERE!

HELLO THERE!
WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.
--- HEDDWCH

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Where the hell were LINks?

At worst, they lie; at best, they are incompetent or unconsciously defensive. Hospital boards of directors, executives and senior managers are prone to clutching at and caressing their vested interests. Their processes are immersed in the business model and that is notorious for deceit and wheeling and dealing.

Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals were “inspected” by means of self-reporting: the hospital is asked a series of questions to which it provides answers. If those those answers are in the affirmative to the overall question “is your hospital meeting all the standards it should?” then it passes the inspection - their word is taken that everything is all right.

Since April 2008, in each local authority area, there has been a safeguard against this kind of naive gullibility. That safeguard is called Local Involvement Networks (LINks). LINks are set up by law to provide a service user, carer and general public voice to protect standards in health and social care. LINks have powers of entry and inspection set down by law. LINks have formal channels to report shortcomings, failures, anomalies, malpractice and dangers in health and social care.

So where the hell were Essex LINks?????????????

One problem here in Norfolk is that the bulk of the LINk’s activities has been expended in meetings with hospital trusts, the PCT and maybe the local authorities, doing very much what is described above - we are allowed to discuss the planning and provision of services and ask if they are performing up to standard. If they say “yes, of course we are,” that is the end of it. I think (and others disagree with my views) the relationships between Norfolk LINk and the providers are too cosy for true independence (and I hear perfectly well what is said - that this is in the interests of non-adversarial relationships, but don’t agree this is the proper approach). So again, their word is taken as perfect.

I think the only way to approach this work is to speak to the service users, carers, general public and frontline staff about what they have seen and directly experienced and record their comments and opinions as evidence to set against the providers’ self-reporting (I know that at least one other prominent Norfolk LINk member has been lobbying for this from the outset but it hasn’t happened - well, not to any effective extent anyway)

Next April sees the introduction of regulated standards and outcomes for all providers of health and social care services (hospitals, clinics, PCT’s, commissioned private services etc). The Care Quality Commission will register these against a laid down extensive set of standards with outcomes attached to these standards. If any provider of services fails to meet the standards and outcomes they will be unable to work in health and social care.

However, to date this again will rely heavily on self-reporting. Let’s hope the Staffordshire, the Basildon and Thurrock deaths and the others reported in the press in the last few days will bring about a review of the Care Quality Commission processes and better government funding to enable a much more effective LINks presence.

`Mike.

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Bweebideebobbida

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In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
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