OLDER people are being urged to raise any concerns and share experiences about the care they receive in health and social care services.
Hartlepool LINk is a network of independent, trained volunteers who scrutinise care services in town on behalf of residents.
Their work includes site visits to hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, opticians and care homes and bosses are looking to get more people involved in what they do.
LINks co-ordinator, Christopher Akers-Belcher, said: “Over the last few weeks there has been much media coverage regarding the high percentage of elderly people receiving sub-standard patient care in some hospitals and care homes.
“Hartlepool LINk members are incredibly concerned and we are also aware many elderly people are reluctant to complain when health and or care services fall short of an acceptable standard.
“It is now more important than ever we obtain the views of older people about both their concerns and experiences of local health and social care services.”
He added: “We can only undertake visits to health and care premises if and when we have received information from the community.
“When we visit premises we talk to patients about their current experience and we also observe the delivery of patient care.
“Any information we receive is in confidence as are discussions we have with patients at the time of our visits.
“Whilst we work with the hospital trust, NHS Hartlepool, the health scrutiny forum and the Care Quality Commission we remain completely independent.
“We never pass on personal information to identify patients without gaining permission. It is only our findings, which forms the opinion within our reports.”
For more information or to raise any concerns about health and social car services in Hartlepool call Christopher Akers-Belcher, LINks co-ordinator, on (01429) 262641 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively call LINks development officer, Stephen Thomas, on (01429) 262641 or email email@example.com