Last AGM For LINk4Scilly

Attendees at what is likely to be LINk4Scilly’s last AGM have heard that hospital discharge procedures are still a problem and optometry services need to be better on the islands.

Around 14 people attended the meeting at the Slip Inn last Thursday, where a new seven-member steering group was appointed.

LINk manager, Carol Clarke, told members that “it’s not good enough” that there are still problems with the discharge of patients from mainland hospitals but said this wasn’t only something affecting Scilly. She said their partner organisation in Cornwall had also flagged up this issue and LINk has nominated Jane Hurd to represent them on a regional hospital discharge forum.

Optometry was also high on LINk’s ‘to do’ list. She said Specsavers had told her that they wouldn’t be coming to the islands “in the foreseeable future” and there was a waiting list of over 200 people. She said they’re pushing the PCT to try and clear this quickly.

The group are also keen to investigate the facilities for disabled people at local guesthouses and hotels following a letter they’d received from a visitor earlier in the year.

Most discussion centred on changes facing LINk4Scilly itself. The government is changing the way it funds such organisations and wants to shift to a national ‘Healthwatch’ system, which will include local branches.

LINk chair, Sue Williams, described how the Council are helping them to convert to a social enterprise.

Carol said Healthwatch would provide the same monitoring facilities as LINk, covering healthcare, adult social care and mental health services, but would also include a new role to provide information and advice to patients.

Healthwatch will be funded by the Department of Health via a grant to the local authority.