The Director of Public Health (DPH) is an independent advocate for the health of local people and the annual report is an important way of providing advice and recommendations on population health to both professionals and the public.
As well as being an annual review of public health outcomes and activity, the annual report of the DPH is also an important way of identifying key issues, flagging up problems and reporting progress.
The 2017 Barnsley DPH report 'A Day in the Life of’ captured a snapshot in time to illustrate the health and wellbeing of Barnsley’s residents. More residents wrote about loneliness, social isolation and the importance of connections with others than any other subject. Loneliness is one of the most important public health challenges of our time and Barnsley’s Public Health team welcomes the Government strategy for tackling loneliness, ‘A connected society’, which was published in October 2018.
The 2018 Barnsley DPH report provides an insight into the impact of loneliness on residents’ lives and the importance of connecting with others. It enables us to have a better understanding and will help inform our decision making with regard to physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The recommendations of the report focus on changing the way we connect in an increasingly digital world. The report highlights many examples of the great work taking place across the borough that supports interaction between people.
What Matters to Me, Now?
In 2019, children and young people were asked to create artwork around the theme ‘What Matters to Me?’ to inform the Director of Public Health Annual Report 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this work had to be put on hold.
In 2021 the project was able to be reinstated, and children and young people were then asked to create artwork with the theme of ‘What Matters to Me, Now?’ to provide a comparison of what's important to children and young people in Barnsley pre and post pandemic. The catalogue accompanies an in-person exhibition that showcases the artwork from 23 to 29 May 2022 at Library @ the Lightbox, to provide information about the creators and their interpretation.
The artwork's listed in the order that it was received. The number of pieces created for 2021 are fewer due to the increased demand on services, and in some cases reduced capacity, because of the ongoing and ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. A write up of the findings from all the engagement work has been included in the Director of Public Health Annual Report 2021.