History of Public Health Systems P1 P2 M1

Topics: Medicine, Epidemiology, Public health Pages: 8 (2546 words) Published: November 28, 2014
Unit 12 – Historical Perspectives of the Health System

Public Health is about helping everyone to stay healthy rather than focusing specifically on the individual, with the aim to promote health, protecting individuals from threats to their health and preventing ill-health. Public health policies have made a significant impact in increasing a person's overall life expectancy and improving health. (Public Health)

Public Health Strategies:

Public health strategies are devised in order to prevent the spread of diseases, prolong life and promote health. This can be done through the use of monitoring, identifying, developing programmes etc.

Monitoring the health status of the community – Is a key aspect of health strategies that are in place within the UK. This health strategy helps to monitor any changes that occur in the health of the population, along with alerting individuals to any potential problems.

Health throughout the UK is monitored by quality of life, infant mortality rates and life expectancy (Baker L, 2008, BTEC National Health and Social Care Book 2, page 2) The monitoring of health throughout the country allows for advanced planning of local services within the community that may be at risk of certain health problems. The monitoring of health at a local level allows for information to be recorded before being compared to the health of other communities across the country. Local information on health is an important aspect as it is collected on a geographical basis throughout the UK, for example vaccination rates, hospital admissions etc. This is one way on health can be monitored, as in the cases of other communities they may have higher incidence rates of certain diseases whereas others may have low incidences of diseases. Communities that have a higher rate of disease are monitored further and health promotion campaigns will be developed before being put into effect in order to reduce the risk of disease spreading within the community. The health status of a community can vary throughout the nation and depend on a variety of factors, of which can include:

Socio-economic conditions
Environmental factors

Through the use of monitoring health changes any problems that may arise in the future within communities can be identified in advance in order for it to be prevented. For example the rise of sexually transmitted diseases within local communities would monitored in order to predict any potential problems that may occur in the future and stop them from taking place.

Identifying the health needs of the population – The health of the nation is measured by using mortality and morbidity rates of which have indicated how people are now living longer than that of their predecessors.

Identifying the health needs of the population is another important aspect of public health strategies within the UK; this takes place when trends and patterns in local communities across the nation are established. By identifying the health needs of individuals located in a particular community means that the need for services can therefore be identified. Patterns can be detected throughout the country through the use of national statistics. National statistics are used in order to determine how health can be improved and how areas of concern can be highlighted, along with the effects of ill health may be reduced and prevented. Patterns of illness and disease can possibly be the result of certain factors, of which include; genetics, environment, lifestyle, education etc. However some parts of the country may be more susceptible to certain illnesses and diseases than others due to the patterns that are outlined by the National Statistics and social trends information. Developing programmes to reduce risk and screen for early disease – 'Screening is the process of identifying apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. They can then be offered...

Cited: Public Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.gov.uk/government/topics/public-health.
Wright, J., Williams, R., & Wilkinson, J. (1998, April 28 ). BMJ Health needs assessment. British Medical Journal, 1310-1313.
Anon, (2014). [online] Available at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/lesson08.htm) [Accessed 3 Oct. 2014].
Bbc.co.uk, (2014). BBC - History - Historic Figures: John Snow (1813 - 1858). [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/snow_john.shtml [Accessed 3 Oct. 2014].
Bbc.co.uk, (2014). BBC - History - William Beveridge. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/beveridge_william.shtml [Accessed 3 Oct. 2014].
Spartacus Educational, (2014). Edwin Chadwick. [online] Available at: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PHchadwick.htm [Accessed 3 Oct. 2014].
wiseGEEK, (2014). What is an Epidemiologist? (with pictures). [online] Available at: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-epidemiologist.htm [Accessed 4 Oct. 2014].
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