Local Involvement Networks were created as part of a requirement from the Local Government and Public Involvement Act 2007 to replace Patient Public Involvement Forums (also known as PPIs). LINks were given a much wider remit, covering both health and social care for adults. LINKs are funded by the Department of Health but are run independently from government.
Unlike its predecessor, LINk has statutory powers and the NHS, Adults and Communities and Local Government have a duty to respond to any of our enquiries or requests within 20 days. Moreover, LINk has also the power to enter and view premises when required. This means we can connect directly with the organisations concerned and form detailed cases for change by working with our members to identify issues quickly.
The Act also requires that every local authority contracts a host organisation to support the development and day-to-day activities of LINk. Birmingham City Council contracted Birmingham Voluntary Service Council to do this job from October 2011 to the end of September 2012. The Birmingham LINk is a social project which relies on collaborations between communities and individuals who are passionate about health and social care issues. Working together, we aim to make positive changes and keep standards and opportunities high.
In Birmingham, LINk was launched in March 2009 and we have since engaged with people and organisations in many areas of the city. Membership is growing at a steady pace. Projects, such as our work with the Ward End Asian Elders and the Alum Rock Youth Project demonstrate how effective LINk’s strategy is becoming. The more actively we engage with the community, the more positive results we will be able to achieve.
We are always looking to recruit new members because as a voluntary body we rely on their input to make it happen. Staff from the host organisation support the core work of LINk and individuals and representatives of groups or communities in Birmingham take the projects forward themselves, committing their own time and ideas to effect change.
The following documents give more detail about Birmingham LINk’s policies and protocols that affect the work we do. We have also included other information that may be of interest to you. Please contact us if there’s anything you’d like to know more about.
These documents are available to download and print out.