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Working with Healthwatch and voluntary and community organisations

We work with a wide range of community and voluntary organisations either because we commission them to provide services locally, or through them getting involved in shaping local services or by the partnerships we both are part of.

Healthwatch Barnsley

Healthwatch Barnsley's mission is: to work with people, communities and organisations to influence the provision, planning, commissioning and delivery of the health and social care services that we all depend on. We will work to ensure that everyone has confidence in us and that we achieve positive changes.

The CCG and Healthwatch team meet on a regular basis to share feedback on the feedback they receive. They also attend the CCG's engagement and equality committee and are represented on a number of joint partnership boards.

Review of access to GP services in the Dearne

In 2017 and 2018 Healthwatch carried out work in the Dearne to discuss access to GP services and the numbers of people who don't attend their appointments. We worked with Healthwatch and took their report to our Primary Care Commissioning Committee. From this meeting it also went to the Barnsley Health and Wellbeing Board meeting in public for discussion and we were able to talk about the work that has been taking place during 2018 and 2019 to address the findings in the report. Healthwatch Barnsley will be feeding this back to the local community. One of the areas it has helped us develop is the new role of volunteer health and wellbeing champions in the Dearne to work with engaging local communities.

Click here to read the Healthwatch Barnsley Do Not Attend report (pdf)

Click here to read the report to Barnsley Health and Wellbeing Board in June 2018 (item 9)

Here are the minutes from the Health and Wellbeing Board discussions at the meeting in June 2018 to see how people's feedback has influenced the work we have been doing:

The meeting received a report and presentation giving an overview of arrangements for access to primary medical care in Barnsley.  The meeting noted specific initiatives in relation to extended access through the iHeart Barnsley arrangements, the use of digital technology to improve access through the Patient Partner and Patient On-line arrangements, and a range of workforce initiatives that recognise the importance of access to general practice services, rather than just the GP as an individual.  The presentation highlighted as priorities for 2018/19 the consideration of results from the 2018 Patients Survey, the wider development of e-consultations, increased capacity of extended access and patient on-line uptake, a review of current opening hours and consideration of locality access.

The meeting welcomed the proposals to develop the extended access arrangements, particularly given the difficulty that residents of the Dearne Valley would have accessing the current arrangements.  The use of digital technology to access services was noted, and there was a need to consider possible barriers, including poor broadband coverage as well as digital exclusion, in enabling access.  The current review of libraries also provided an opportunity to review the use of space in LIFT centres to support developments within the locality.

The meeting welcomed the consideration being given to the work undertaken by HealthWatch in relation to access to general practice.  The importance of promoting with the public the idea that there were numerous entry points for general practice services, and not just through the GP, in order to maximise access was acknowledged.  The meeting noted the response from Accident and Emergency services that 25% of those patients attending hospital could have been treated by their GP, and that potentially more patients could be redirected if general practice had the capacity.  This highlighted the importance of ensuring that patients were properly signposted to those different access points

Click here to read more about how we work with Healthwatch Barnsley.

Working with Barnsley Council and the voluntary and community sector

There are some local health services, such as some mental health services, services for people with a learning disability, that the local authority commissions on our behalf. 

To support patient, carer and public involvement in the commissioning and monitoring and planning of these services we give money to the local authority to ensure that involvement is at the heart of what they do. They do this by supporting a number of service user and carer forums, as well as running bespoke activities throughout the year. 

Your Voice Barnsley is a partnership concerned with overseeing investment in a network of coordinated Service User & Equality Forums under the ‘Your Voice’ branding to ensure we maximise the impact and undertake meaningful community engagement across the borough.  The partnership consists of representation from local Health and Care, Education, Housing, Police and Fire and Rescue organisations.   

The Forums exist to give members of various communities of interest and identity a collective voice and the ability to organise and develop stronger communities.  

Further information in relation to some of the different forums and support groups can be found here and via the specific links below.

In addition, we recognise that the role of the voluntary and community sector in supporting people's wider health and wellbeing, and so some of this funding is used by the council to support a vibrant and sustainable third sector. This may be through funding advice and support to local organisations, through to ongoing support to Barnsley CVS.

Through 2019/20, we are working with our partners at the local authority to develop the role of patient, carer and public involvement.


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