The Public Health and Communities directorate works hard to improve the health and wellbeing of the Barnsley population. It has a key role in tackling health inequalities and improving and protecting health in Barnsley across the lifespan.

The teams offer advice on public health and influence strategy, commissioning and service development in health care, local government and other partners, commissioning health improvement and protection services.

The directorate contains:

  • Public Health and Regulation
  • Communities

Services in Public Health and Regulation

Health protection

Working to protect individuals, groups and populations from infectious disease incidents and outbreaks, and non-infectious environmental hazards such as chemicals and radiation.

Emphasis on interventions to prevent infection such as:

  • screening
  • immunisation delivery, including increasing uptake of seasonal flu vaccinations
  • strengthening infection prevention and control throughout the community
  • reducing the incidence of TB
  • working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to respond appropriately to communicable diseases outbreaks and incidents
  • vaccination and immunisation
  • reducing health inequalities

Healthcare public health

Improving health outcomes across Barnsley by providing public health advice and support to ensure that the local and regional health system makes the maximum impact on population health, reducing health inequalities, helping to detect and prevent disease early and reduce demand.

Our public health research function supports innovative and creative public health work to understand the issues that affect our communities and the difference our interventions make to residents and places.  Alongside this, we're building research capacity and bringing additional research funding into the borough.

Supporting a number of programme areas, such as heart health and cancer early detection and prevention, aligned to the work of Barnsley Place partners and the South Yorkshire ICS. 

Health improvement

Improving the healthy life expectancy of our residents, targeting efforts at those who need it most and reducing health inequalities.

Support delivery across the range of programmes focusing on improving the health of Barnsley’s population so that everyone can expect to live more of life in good health, and on levelling up health inequalities to break the link between background and prospects for a healthy life.

Enabling and encouraging physically and mentally healthier lives by addressing the wider determinants of health through partnerships and policy development.

Focussing on reducing the risk of non-communicable disease through population approaches including:

  • alcohol misuse
  • tobacco control
  • food and healthy weight
  • oral health
  • sexual health

Children and young people

The children and young people public health team work across the Barnsley health and care system, supporting the commissioning and delivery of services to improve health and wellbeing to support all children and young people to have the best start in life.

The team lead and deliver on key priority areas of work across the borough as identified in the Barnsley Children and Young Peoples Plan and the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, such as:

  • reducing sudden unexpected death in infancy
  • infant feeding
  • supporting parenting and teenage pregnancy prevention
  • substance misuse
  • hidden harm
  • emotional health and wellbeing
  • healthy futures accreditation
  • children and young people health and wellbeing survey

Public health nursing service

Works to give every child the best start in life and to provide high quality evidence-based health and wellbeing services for children, young people and families.  

It aims to:

  • reduce infant mortality
  • reduce smoking during pregnancy
  • achieve a good level of development at reception age
  • achieve dental hygiene from a young age
  • meet the needs of school pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs
  • support families with low income
  • provide safe sleep awareness to reduce the number of sudden infant death
  • tackle obesity
  • provide smoking and alcohol awareness in young adults

Regulatory services

Ensures that businesses operate on a level playing field and within the law, that the environment we live in and use is clean and safe, that the products we use and consume are safe and as described, and that the health and welfare of animals is protected.  

The service carries out a number of key statutory functions relating to:

  • pollution control
  • food and feed hygiene and standards
  • health and safety at work
  • trading standards
  • animal health and welfare
  • dog warden service

Targeted intelligence-led interventions are also carried out for trading standards work, such as:

  • product safety
  • scams
  • weights and measures
  • tobacco and counterfeiting

This ensures our resources are managed effectively.


Services in Communities

Stronger communities

Stronger Communities works in partnership with local people, businesses and groups, with the commitment to creating a community where residents and families are healthy, resilient, confident, and have the skills to thrive and achieve their full potential.

The Stronger Communities Partnership Board is responsible for reviewing the council's plans and ensuring that partners deliver against shared priorities. By reviewing the plan annually, the board ensures that it meets local needs and responds effectively to changing circumstances.

Residents of Barnsley are a critical part of this initiative, and the council values their contributions to their local areas. Whether through volunteer work or involvement in decision-making, residents can make a real difference in their communities. Ward alliances, which are groups of people working to improve their local areas, work closely with local councillors to determine the priorities for each area.

Each ward alliance develops a community plan to measure progress in delivering their priorities. With a small budget called the Ward Alliance Fund, ward alliances have the resources necessary to make a difference.

The six area councils and area teams in Barnsley comprise locally elected councillors who support the ward alliances and a local area team to support them. They use the information provided by residents to help set priorities for each area. This information helps create an area plan that outlines what needs to happen, how it can be done, who will do it, and what it might cost.

By working together, Barnsley Council and its residents can build communities that everyone can be proud of. With a shared commitment to improving the quality of life for all residents, the Stronger Communities Partnership is making a real difference in the lives of people living in Barnsley.

Healthier communities

Barnsley's Healthier Communities team is working tirelessly to improve the lives of residents in the borough. One of their primary responsibilities is commissioning early help and support services around drugs, domestic abuse, alcohol, and a host of other areas to ensure that the people of Barnsley have access to the support they need when they need it most.

The team's dedication to serving the community extends to supporting the armed forces community, including those who serve or have served in the armed forces, as well as reservists. This support also extends to those who care for, depend on, or are close family members of these groups.

The council pledged to make sure that the armed forces community is supported in Barnsley, and they have taken several significant steps to ensure that this happens. Firstly, they have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise to ensure that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. By signing up to the covenant, the Healthier Communities team has committed to working closely with the armed forces community to understand their needs and provide the support they require.

Furthermore, the team has achieved the Gold Award for the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, which is a national scheme that recognises employers who demonstrate their support for the armed forces community. This accolade is a testament to the team's dedication to serving those who have served our country and their families.

Healthier Communities supports the management and administration of two partnerships - Safer Barnsley Partnership (which is our statutory community safety partnership) and the Stroger Community Partnership (which oversees delivery against key priorities in respect of early help and prevention for adults).

Through their work, the Healthier Communities team is making a real difference in the lives of those living in Barnsley. By providing early help and support services, they are improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Barnsley, creating a stronger and more resilient community.

Safer communities

Barnsley is a community that believes in working together to address community safety issues. The Safer Team and Safer Barnsley Partnership are key players in making sure that the community is safe and protected from crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder. This partnership recognises that enforcement actions are not the only solution to these problems and that dealing with the root causes is the key to success.

One of the primary roles of the Safer Barnsley Partnership is to produce a needs assessment, which is used to develop a plan to collectively address community safety issues. This plan is reviewed annually to ensure that it reflects the current needs of the community.

To support the work of the partnership, the Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been established. These teams are multi-agency partnerships that are focused on making Barnsley a safer place to live. They work to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse and re-offending. The Joining Forces initiative brings together key members of staff from the council and the South Yorkshire Police to work collaboratively on community safety. This partnership allows the delivery of a partnership approach from a central location in the heart of the town centre.

The Safer Team works to protect vulnerable residents, those who are homeless or rough sleeping, and promote tolerance, respect and community cohesion.

The Safer Barnsley Partnership and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are committed to working in partnership with the community to create a safe and secure environment for everyone in Barnsley.


Barnsley Libraries are more than just a place to borrow books. They are a vital part of the community, offering a welcoming hub where people can connect, learn and discover. Whether you need a place to study or access digital services, the library is the place to go.

At the heart of the library service is Library @ the Lightbox. This vibrant space, located in The Glass Works retail and leisure development, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, making it a safe and exciting place to explore. You can find something for everyone with the range of activities and events available, from job clubs and reader's groups to virtual reality experiences and digital storytimes.

The library strategy for the next three years is focused on delivering an innovative and modern service that is relevant to people of all ages and from all parts of the community. The goal is to provide a comprehensive and efficient free library service that is responsive to customer needs and at the heart of the community. The library's efforts will also be geared towards improving the health and wellbeing of residents in partnership with the Public Health team.

In addition to offering access to books, audio and e-magazines, the library is also committed to sustainability. The goal is to make the library service greener and more sustainable, contributing to the Zero 40 goals of Barnsley. To achieve this, the library will continue to focus on using resources effectively and adapting the service based on feedback from customers and communities.

Barnsley Libraries are community an digital hubs that are inclusive, vibrant, excellent and sustainable. The library service is always seeking to build on its current offer, making sure it stays relevant and meets the needs of the community. So, whether you want to learn, create, connect or relax, the library is the place to be.