Hundreds of local people are helping to shape the future of health and care services by sharing their views with the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) and local Healthwatch organisations.

Over the last three months, members of the public from a wide range of groups and communities across Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield have been sharing their opinions to improve healthcare through, questionnaires, focus groups and at two specially organised public events which took place last Thursday (June 6).

The NHS Long Term Plan was published in January this year and sets out how an extra national investment of £20.5 billion will be made to provide better care.

The ambition is to provide care closer to people’s homes, prevent a number of illnesses from developing and improve care for people living with mental ill health. By doing this, we could save 85,000 more lives nationally every year and prevent 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases while more than three million people will benefit from new and improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.

Health and care organisations in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, alongside all local Healthwatch partners, have been asking local people - from youth forums, prisoners, LGBT+ groups, BME communities, patient and survivor groups to students and groups for new mums - how they think its share of the new funding should be spent.  Key focus areas for the region so far are cancer care, care in your neighbourhood, mental health and learning disabilities, bringing the NHS into the digital age and prevention. 

Benjy Taylor (23) from Sheffield attended one of the events, he said:

“I wasn’t really aware of the Long Term Plan or how the NHS is changing to meet the demands of the modern world so the event was a great opportunity to learn more about this. For example, I was happy to hear that more is being done to tackle mental health problems in young people which I think is a really important issue at the moment and it was also interesting to find out about ‘social prescribing’ which seems like a very positive new initiative.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to have my questions answered by the people involved in planning health and care services for the next five years and clinicians who are the experts in their field.

“I chose to live and work in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw after I moved to Sheffield for university five years ago, so I’m glad I got to be a part of shaping the future of health and care services in the area.”

South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, Medical Director, Des Breen, said:

“The NHS Long Term Plan was developed with the help of 3.5 million people nationally and now we are asking people here what we could do in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

“We really want local people to get involved in developing and improving our local health and care services and helping to develop our local plan through open and honest conversations is one of the ways you can do this. These events and other work we have done has helped us gauge opinion from the public as to what our plan should look like.

“We’ve had some fantastic involvement so far with lots of help from the public, lots of positive feedback and some great suggestions. If we want our services to be the best they can be we must develop them with those who use them – and we are committed to making sure this happens.”

Andrew Goodall, Chief Operating Officer of Healthwatch Doncaster said,

“Healthwatch has been supporting local people to have their say and tell us what they would do if they were in charge of the NHS. We have listened to all the feedback from over 1300 people and will be sharing the views of these local people in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw with the ICS to enable it to develop its response and action plan for implementing developments set out in the Long Term Plan. Local people’s voices are influencing change and improvement in the NHS in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.”

If members of the public have not been able to attend the events they can share their views by filling in our questionnaire by June 25.

A full report of all the findings will be shared with the ICS partners to inform their thinking when they come together to work out the strategic plan for the region this Summer. It will also be shared with the people who gave their views and the wider public.

See below a video taken from two events attended by members of the public from across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw where they gave their view on the future of health and care services.

Notes to Editors

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System formally launched as an “ICS” in October 2018. We have been working as a partnership for well over two years, first as a Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, then as a first wave Accountable Care System and now, as one of the leading ICS’ in the country.

Throughout this time, our goal has remained the same: For everyone in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to have the best possible start in life, with support to be healthy and live well, for longer.

For more information, please see:

Healthwatch organisations led on some of the conversations in each of our five local places on behalf of the ICS.