Message from Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health, Barnsley – 6 November 2020

A day in the life of... 

The past eight months have had an enormous impact on us all, how we live, how we work, how we travel, and most of all, how we feel.  

We’re all experiencing and coping with the effects of COVID-19 differently, which may be having a toll on our physical and mental health. The pandemic will continue to affect us in many ways, and we’ve all had to find a new routine in our everyday lives which has presented significant challenges. 

There are many services across the borough, offering advice and support to people. We need to make sure we have the right ones that are appropriate for Barnsley residents and the role all organisations and communities can play to improve health.  

To do this, we want to understand the impact the past eight months has had on people’s mental and physical health as well as how people work, travel and live.  Each year I produce a Director of Public Health Annual Report.  This year we are focusing on ‘A day in the life of our new normal’.  We are asking people to tell us about how the pandemic has changed their lives by recording their thoughts and feelings about their mental and physical health.  

I hope as many people as possible will get involved so we can gather as much information as we can. This will help us to support people to live the happiest and healthiest lives possible, particularly given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Although the news about our infection rates and hospitalisations in Barnsley can feel bleak at the moment, things WILL get better.  Vaccines are being developed, treatment for COVID-19 is constantly improving as we learn more about the disease and, although we know winter is going to be hard, we will see less illness and pressure on our services as we move into spring.  So, understanding more about your daily lives if you’re happy to share them with us will help us plan for a brighter future.   

Please find out more and complete our short diary sheet. 

Important information for you about new guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people 

The government are sending letters out to people who have been identified as someone thought to be clinically extremely vulnerable. The government’s letter provides people with advice on how to protect themselves and how to access further support. This information is also available on the GOV.UK. 

If you have been identified as someone thought to be clinically extremely vulnerable, we’re also sending you a letter to ask you to follow the advice and keep yourself safe. You will also need to register your details on the government’s website for shielding supportRegistering your details will help you to: 

  • get access to priority supermarket deliveries (if you’ve already got priority supermarket deliveries, you’ll keep them) 
  • ask for someone to contact you about any local support that’s available 
  • update your details - for example, your address. 

You’ll need your NHS number (you can find this on any letter the NHS has sent you). If you don’t have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, you can call (01226) 774 444 and we’ll help you to register. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else. 

Don’t forget you can find lots of information ranging from financial support to health and wellbeing advice on our website www.barnsley.gov.uk/coronavirus. 

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