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Here's our January 2011 e-news. If you'd like to sign up to our e-newsletters, and receive regular updates about our work, please email Lucy and we'll make sure you're kept up-to-date!


January 2011 e-news

Hello from the Somerset LINk!

Where we are busy trawling through the draft Health & Social Care Bill (here's a simple summary from the BBC) and trying to piece together all the things we know about what the LINk will look like when it's transformed into Healthwatch in April 2012. We've put together a summary of our best guesses so far here.

And here's some more news from around the LINk:

Do you care about carers?

Carers UK are organising a demonstration on Wednesday 2 February 2011 to bring Carers to the attention of Somerset County Council's Cabinet, who are meeting that day to decide whether to move the threshold for eligibility for accessing social care from people with 'moderate' care needs to those with 'substantial' needs. Starting at 9.30 outside Shire Hall, they will be staging a peaceful protest to remind the council of their duty to support carers, who already save the UK's statutory authorities 87 billion pounds a year. Caroline Toll, chairwoman of Carers UK East Somerset Branch, is concerned that carers in Somerset may be adversely affected: "A little support put in early in a carer taking on a carer role can help to keep them going." For more information, please contact Caroline Toll on

Somerton Surgery Consultation

A public consultation will be held next week into proposals to move the Somerton doctors' surgery from West Street. The drop-in session will be held on Wednesday 2nd February, between 2pm and 6.30pm at the Parish Rooms. The proposals suggest building a new care home on the same site as the new doctors' surgery. The meeting will be attended by healthcare professionals and the developers who will explain the proposals in more detail and answer questions.

6 April 2011: 'LINk To The Future' Event

Pencil Wednesday 6 April into your diary as we are planning an event for LINk participants (hopefully in Bridgwater - venue to be confirmed). We'll be having a morning of local speakers telling us a little bit about the NHS Reforms and how things will be changing - and an afternoon for anyone who would like to hear more about getting involved with the LINk in the coming year. We promise to ban anyone who tries to bore us with too much jargon. We'll be sending out more information very soon once we have firmed up our plans and decided on speakers and pastries. Watch this space!

And finally . . .

  • The latest consultations from the Department of Health: Consultation on the funding and commissioning routes for public health; transparency in outcomes, proposals for a public health outcomes framework; Healthy lives, healthy people: Our strategy for public health in England... and a few more (some easier to understand than others!). Find out more here.
  • The latest consultations from your local LINk: Have you told us what you think about patient transport in Somerset? Please let us know! Find out more and fill out our survey here:

That's all from us for now, but drop us a line if you have any questions about our work or any views on health and social services in Somerset!

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