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Improving residents’ health and wellbeing at the heart of Barnsley Plan

Improving residents’ health and wellbeing at the heart of Barnsley Plan
24 January 2017

An ambitious plan which rethinks re-thinks the way Barnsley’s health and social care services are provided in the future is now available to read online. 

The locally-based Barnsley Plan, which runs up to 2020, is the result of many months of work by Barnsley Council and the local NHS, and will be delivered by the Health and Wellbeing Board. 

It describes how the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) will be addressed locally, and has been informed by the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), which has been developed based on local intelligence and the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

The concept is simple but important: rather than services being primarily there to respond when people are ill, a key new emphasis is on helping them avoid becoming unwell in the first place.

It states that in Barnsley there are three key challenges to improving residents’ health and wellbeing and providing high quality, sustainable services, which are: 

  • Closing the health and wellbeing gap – Trying to prevent people from becoming ill will be the cornerstone of what will take place in the future. Residents will be supported to manage chronic health problems better, diseases will be diagnosed earlier, and people will be helped to cut their risk of getting ill by being assisted to make lifestyle changes like stopping smoking and losing weight. The drive will be to support people to take better control of their health. Services will be geared towards helping residents maintain their independence for as long as possible. The plans will also aim to narrow the gap in life expectancy for people in different areas of the borough, which in some places is as much as a difference of 7.3 years for men and 7.6 years for women.
  • Closing the care and quality gap – the ageing population, increasing complexity of need and increasing patient expectations are combining to put the health and social care system under unprecedented pressure.  People living at home with long- term health problems, may be monitored closely to ensure their condition doesn’t deteriorate and result in an emergency hospital admission. Local hospitals will still be there for the people that need them but the focus will be on support and bringing more services into the community, providing them closer to where individuals live.
  • Closing the finance and efficiency gap – across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, it is estimated that there will be a financial shortfall of £571 million by 2020/21. The health service gap is £474 million while £107 million relates to social care and public health. The equivalent shortfall across Barnsley health and social care is approximately £90 million by 2020/21. This is made up of the challenge of rising demand for health and social care outstripping resources available to the Council and the NHS, as well the challenge our local hospital faces in balancing its books. There will be more joined-up working across the NHS and other local organisations, including sharing budgets to get more from the finite money the partners have. 

Achieving this will mean: 

  • Children start life healthy and stay healthy
  • People live happy, healthier and longer lives
  • People have improved mental health and wellbeing
  • People live in strong and resilient families and communities
  • People contribute to a strong and prosperous economy.

To reach these goals, the plan also looks at good housing, education and employment as wider good health factors. 

Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: “One of Barnsley Council’s key priorities is helping people reach their potential and this plan works towards this.

“Improvements can only take place with the absolute commitment of all the partners to help Barnsley residents take better control of their health and wellbeing and to enjoy more enriching lives in safer and stronger communities, whoever they are and wherever they live.” 

Dr Nick Balac, chair of Barnsley CCG, said: “Our job is support people to have the best health outcomes they can, whether that’s putting the specialist care in place in times of crisis right through to working with local communities to reduce isolation. We’ve got to work with the public on this plan because we have got some big challenges ahead of us. In plain terms, there’s going to be more of us around, we’re living longer but spending those later years with more complex health and care needs and at the current rate that means we’ll have a shortfall in our budgets. 

“I know there are things that are already making a difference to people and their families, helping them stay better and out of hospitals. The IHEART Barnsley GP service has brought well over £1million of investment into Barnsley and is just one example of where different ways of offering services are making a big difference to people’s lives. I’d encourage people to get involved in helping shape the plans for Barnsley with us over the next few months.” 

The plan can be read online here.