Q: What is the difference between LINks and PALS/ICAS?

A: PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) are a service run entirely by the NHS to provide a first point of contact for patients who wish to raise a concern about the service they receive or would like more information about their care or treatment.  Generally all such issues are dealt with by the PALS team and the patient.

ICAS (Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service) are run by an external agency, in our area this is Carers Federation, to support patients who wish to take a complaint about a service further than the PALS service, for instance if they are not happy with the information PALS have given them or wish to make a complaint regarding negligence and so on.  As the name implies, they also act as advocates for these patients helping them in interviews and arranging contact with legal bodies to progress their case.  Both of these services are completely free of charge to the user.

LINks (Local Involvement Networks) are a volunteer organisation supported by Community Action Derby with the aim of increasing public involvement in the design, delivery, and standard of both Health and Social Care services.

One of the main differences between LINks and PALS is LINks' involvement with commissioning new services and actively seeking public opinion on health and social care issues.  We share PALS signposting and information gathering role along with ICAS advocacy function.  What we will not be able to do is deal with every patient's issue that we are made aware of.  Issues will need to be of relevance to a wide section of Derby's population and have a significant impact on the design or delivery of care services.

Our main aim is the involvement of as many people as possible in improving and designing care services for everyone in Derby.

Q: I only have limited time

A: We have a range of volunteering roles within LINk that should suit all levels of interest.  For more information please contact Rebecca Johnson on 01332 227730.

Q: Who can join LINk?

A: Anyone can join LINk as long as they are over 14 and either live or work in Derby.  Derby LINk covers all wards within Derby City. 

If you live in Derbyshire and have a query please contact Derbyshire LINk on 01246 558924.