Next week, Cabinet will discuss the commissioning of providers for two services in Barnsley for 2024: Healthwatch and Independent Health Complaints Advocacy.
These services play a pivotal role in making sure residents have a voice in healthcare decisions and receive the support they need while filing complaints.
Healthwatch Barnsley acts as a bridge between the community and service providers, advocating for local people’s opinions to be considered in health and social care decisions.
Its primary objective is to empower people and encourage engagement in decisions that directly impact their health and wellbeing.
The Independent Health Complaints Advocacy service offers guidance and assistance to people wishing to raise complaints about social care or the NHS.
With the help of the service, residents can access relevant information, receive support throughout the complaints process and be paired with a dedicated advocate if required.
Barnsley Community Voluntary Service (CVS) currently hosts Healthwatch Barnsley, while DIAL Barnsley provides the Complaints Advocacy service. As both contracts are set to expire at the start of April next year, we have undertaken a comprehensive evaluation.
We have used this review to prepare a business case, recommending an open tender process to select future service providers.
Councillor Wendy Cain, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “We recognise the immense value of Healthwatch and Independent Health Complaints Advocacy in empowering our residents and building a healthier Barnsley. By seeking new providers through this open tender process, we hope to make sure these vital services continue to meet the needs of our communities effectively.”
These services align closely with the Healthy Barnsley 2030 priorities, fostering strong relationships with residents and empowering our communities.
We will invite prospective providers who share our commitment to delivering exceptional health and complaints advocacy services to take part in this open tender process.
We will share further details with providers in the future.