Health protection

The health protection section includes information about:

  • childhood vaccination statistics
  • HIV (late diagnosis)
  • seasonal flu vaccinations

Childhood vaccination statistics

The Barnsley picture and how we compare

Read our childhood vaccination coverage statistics.

HIV (late diagnosis)

Why this is important

Late diagnosis of HIV leads to increased morbidity and the potential of life threatening illness. Hospitalisation and ill health place a significant challenge both to the individual and often their wider family (especially when the person affected has dependants).

People who are diagnosed at a later stage will have been infectious for a length of time before diagnosis meaning that there is a significant risk that HIV could have been transmitted to sexual partners if safer sex practices were not followed during that that period.

A person who is on a successful treatment regime resulting in undetectable levels of HIV in the body is no longer considered to be an infection risk to others during sexual activity.

It is also important to enable access to PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is now available to those people most at risk of HIV (only those who do not have a pre-existing HIV diagnosis). This will prevent them from getting HIV from unprotected sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing and reducing the transmission of HIV.  

The Barnsley picture and how we compare

  • Of those diagnosed with HIV in Barnsley (aged 15 years or more) in 2017-2019, seven out of 10 (70.0%) were classified as being diagnosed at a late stage.  This is higher than regional and national rates of 51.3% and 43.1%
  • When compared to statistical neighbours, Barnsley’s HIV late diagnosis rate is the fourth highest.
  • The rate of 70.0% represents approximately five people per year in Barnsley who were diagnosed with HIV at a late stage.
  • Barnsley’s late diagnosis HIV rates have fluctuated in recent years, with the highest being 73.7% in 2010-2012 and the lowest in 2014-2016 (39.2%).

What we're doing and the assets or services we have

  • We have commissioned an open access integrated sexual health service to provide free HIV testing. An integrated sexual health service means that almost everything relating to contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STI) needs is available in one place, including complex STI treatments and complex contraception problems.

Specifically in relation to HIV this means:

  • Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is available to those most at risk of contracting HIV.(An antiretroviral medicine which, taken once a day, stops the transmission of HIV during unprotected sex) through our Integrated Sexual Health Service.
  • Online STI and HIV testing is available to all Barnsley residents
    • Co-ordinate notifications for STIs and HIV to partners.
    • Risk assess cases and provide post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) after sexual exposure to HIV. PEP involves taking antiretroviral (ARV) medicines very soon after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent becoming infected. Providing sexual health education to patients about HIV. Providing insight sessions at BEST meetings and training to other professionals.
  • Ensure that our Sexual Health service makes good links with primary care.
  • Take opportunities to engage with national HIV campaign opportunities (e.g. HIV testing week)
  • Ensure that our sexual health services report and progress in relation to ensuring there is good access for those most at risk.
  • Receive HIV testing data and review at least quarterly.
  • Ensure that we have senior management scrutiny via the Health Protection Board.

Opportunities for improvement or future development

  • A more tailored approach to advertising services targeted at those who are at higher risk of HIV and STIs will continue to be improved. Our online and outreach offer to those at higher risk will continue to improve.
  • We will ensure that we continue to work collaboratively with the HIV treatment and care commissioner and provider.
  • Partnership approaches to HIV testing within the community and improvement of referral pathways will continue to be developed and improved.

Resources and supporting documents

Seasonal flu vaccinations

Why this is important

Flu vaccination is one of the most effective interventions we have to reduce pressure on the health and social care system this winter. We have seen the impact  of COVID-19 on the NHS and social care, and during the winter we were faced with co-circulation of COVID-19 and flu. Those most at risk from flu are also most vulnerable to COVID-19.

For most healthy people, seasonal flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting (resolving itself without treatment) disease with recovery generally within a week.

However, some people are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch flu and are eligible for a flu vaccination.

Groups eligible for an NHS funded flu vaccination (2020/21) include:

  • All children aged two to eleven (but not twelve years or older) on 31 August 2020
  • People aged 65 years or over (including those becoming age 65 years by 31 March 2021)
  • Those aged from six months to less than 65 years of age, in a clinical risk group
  • All pregnant women
  • Household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, or of immunocompromised individuals
  • People living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities
  • Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person
  • Front line health and social care staff
  • People aged between 50-64 years

The Barnsley picture and how we compare 

  • Barnsley’s 2020/21 seasonal flu uptake rates for the over 65’s, under 65 years (at risk), pregnant women and two and three year olds are all slightly higher than the England rates.

  • Barnsley also has good uptake rates in primary school age children, with more than two-thirds of children in Reception and Years one to three being vaccinated in 2020/21; again, higher than the rates nationally and regionally.

Data from

Public Health Outcomes Framework – indicators D05 and D06a

What we're doing and the assets or services we have

NHS England’s flu programme is a co-ordinated and evidence-based approach to planning for the demands of seasonal flu across England.  The aim is to increase vaccine uptake rates, particularly among those who are most vulnerable to the effects of flu.

GP practices invite children aged two and three years, those aged from six months to 65 years with an underlying health condition, pregnant women and those aged over 65 years for a flu vaccination throughout the flu season (September – March).

Pharmacists, who are signed up to give the vaccine, offer flu vaccinations to those aged 18 and over with an underlying condition, to those aged over 65 years and to pregnant women throughout the flu season (September – March).

Barnsley Maternity services offer flu vaccination to pregnant women throughout the flu season (September – March).

A school-based flu vaccination programme is offered to all children in reception and school years one to seven.

The health care and social worker vaccination programme offers vaccinations for those employed in health care organisations, social care organisations, local authority organisations and private and community organisations across Barnsley.

Barnsley Council offers onsite vaccination clinics for its front-line health and social care workforce.

Opportunities for improvement or future development

Our key priorities and areas of focus include continuing to encourage uptake for those most at risk, 2- 3-year-olds and addressing vaccine inequalities. To continue to address vaccine inequalities through effective Public Health interventions, data analysis and targeted support  focussing on people living in deprived communities, those with learning disabilities, people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to take up the flu vaccine.