The chief executive of CommUNITY Barnet has said Healthwatch Barnet will build on the “strong legacy” of the now-dissolved Barnet Local Involvement Network.
Julie Pal, whose organisation holds the contract for Healthwatch, which took over from the Barnet Local Involvement Network (LINk) in working to improve health and social care services in the borough, praised LINk and its chairman Gillian Jordan for her leadership.
She added: “As someone tasked with overseeing the dissolving of Barnet LINk and launching Healthwatch Barnet I have been impressed with the way Gillian and her team have worked so well with CommUNITY Barnet to oversee this transition.
“A member of the LINk steering group described Gillian’s leadership as inspirational and I think she together with everyone involved with Barnet LINk should be proud of their strong legacy and be assured that Healthwatch Barnet has been launched from a strong base.
“CommUNITY Barnet has supported the LINk over the past 18 months in its great achievements and we are building on its legacy to give the public of Barnet the opportunity to change things for the better in our borough."
During the past 18 months, the LINk, which was responsible for inspecting care homes and mental health facilities on behalf of Barnet’s public, has had successes including making a care home provider realise how it could best meet the needs of its residents.
LINk ensured groups that are often marginalised, including children and people from the LBGT community. It also investigated customer services in community care provider Central London Community Healthcare, leading to changes in the way the public received care in the community and worked to ensure people in Barnet had better access to GP appointments.
Mrs Jordan said of her 18 months in charge: "At LINk we managed to put together a vibrant programme for the people of Barnet and my effectiveness as chair was made possible only due to the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, who gave up their time out of an intense sense of public duty
“I am proud of our contribution to the health and social care for the people of Barnet. As I step away from the LINk I know that its legacy is assured."