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The waiting game

GP commissioners to be held accountable

Patients will be handed formal powers next year to hold GP commissioners to account for poor services, health minister Ann Keen has said.

The Government aims to launch new bodies called Local Involvement Networks (LINks) throughout England from April 1 , 2008.

LINks are already being piloted in nine regions and will replace Patient Forums and the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

The Government says they will give patients a greater say in designing and scrutinising health and social care services. Each local authority will receive a grant to establish an independent LINk service.

Ms Keen said: ‘Services get better when providers listen to the people that use them and respond to what they need. We know that the vast majority of people think that having a say in local health and social services is important, but we need more people to take an active role.'

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