The aim of this assignment is to carry out a health needs assessment in my practice area, which will include a profile of the community with the intention to identify the main health needs. For the purpose of this assignment the borough B will be used as the authors borough of practice with the health visiting service and ward x as the authors practice area. The project will gather and analyse data to identify all the health needs of the area, then focus on one key health need. The rationale for using it will be discussed and will then be critically evaluated. The current statutory, private and voluntary service provision which have been put in place to meet the identified health need will be looked into, opportunities and limitations which affect this provision will also be examined. Finally a critical examination of the implications for professional practice will be discussed also local and government policies will be looked at and how changes are being made to reduce health inequalities.
The government have set up a new public health framework entitled the Public Health Outcomes Framework it sets the context which is structured from local to national level. It sets out the comprehensive scope to improve and protect health during a lifespan and to reduce inequalities in health that still persist (Department of Health 2012). One of the essential ideologies of health visiting is the search for health needs (Twinn and Cowley, 1992). Health visitors are at the forefront for carrying out public health and have a vast array of knowledge and skills which help in identifying any health and social problems, they offer a core evidenced based programme (Department of Health, 2009) therefore they are well equipped to carry out a health needs assessment. Through the implementation of the Healthy Child Programme (Department of Heath, 2009) the government have made a resolve to improve the health and wellbeing of all children by ensuring they all receive essential immunisations, development checks and any additional child and family advice. Through this it will enable health visitors to access health needs, evaluate care and if necessary make referrals to the multi professional team.
A health needs assessment (HNA) examines and identifies the health issues in any given area (Cavanagh & Chadwick, 2005) in order to make an achievable change to improve health and reduce inequalities (Summers and McKeown, 1996). The rationale for undertaking a HNA is to recognise needs and highlight the problems in any given population, also to present proposals for clinical interventions in order to deliver a positive change in health outcomes.
In order to gather data for this assignment a community profile needs to be reviewed. Hawtin & Percy-Smith (2007) defines a community profile as a complete description of the needs of a community, for the purpose of developing an action plan of how to improve the quality of life of the community. This health need assessment is based in a PCT in the North West of London. The PCT which is based in Borough B is one of the most culturally diverse areas in England and has a population of approximately 240,000 which makes it one of the largest populated areas in England. According to (Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2012) the borough has 119,900 males and 122,400 females. 20.2% of the Borough’s residents are aged under 16 (48,900). This proportion is roughly the same as for London overall which is (20.1%), 65.5 % (158,800) of the population fall within the new working age group (16 to 64), below the London level of 68.7%.
There are 21 wards in this borough all of which are culturally diverse with a variety of ethnic groups, 82.1% of school children are from black or minority ethnic (BME) group as stated in the (Child and Maternal Health Observatory(Chimat) (2013). In total 6.7% of the Borough’s residents are children aged four and under. 81.6 % of all children aged 0 to 4 are from...
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