Health Promotion

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Health Promotion Principles within Health and Social Care

The purpose of the study was to evaluate and validate the application of health promotion within the workplace. The following pages will focus on health and social care workers in promoting the oral health of individuals in their care. The study will also address policies relating to health promotion and public health. The concept of health is complex, therefore health promotion draws upon many different strategies and disciplines to improve the health of individuals and communities and the population on the whole, these may include sociology, social psychology, education and communication, economics, ethics and epidemiology, (Bunton 1992). The important factor in health promotion is the understanding of people’s lives and addressing appropriately the needs of the individual or target group. The World Health Organisation defined health promotion as enabling people to gain control over their lives (WHO 1986). This approach helps people to identify their own concerns and gain the skills and confidence to act upon them. It is unique in being based on a ‘bottom-up’ strategy and calls for different skills from the health promoter. Instead of the expert role adopted by the other approaches, the health promoter becomes a facilitator whose role is to act as a catalyst, getting things going, and then to withdraw from the situation. Self-empowerment is used in some cases to describe those approaches to promoting health which are based on counselling and which use non-directive, client-centred approaches aimed at increasing people’s control over their own lives, (Nutbeam 2009). For people to be empowered they need to: recognise and understand their powerlessness, feel strongly enough about the situation and want to change it, feel capable of changing the situation by having information, support and life skills. A driving force in the world of health promotion was the “Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion” (1986). At the first international conference on the Health Promotion in Ottawa 1986, a charter to help achieve ‘Health for all by the year 2000’ was presented. The conference was primarily a response to growing expectations for a new public health movement around the world and it built on the progress made through the ‘Declaration on Primary Health Care’ at Alma-Ata and the world health organizations targets for ‘Health for All’ document. It claimed that the health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment, (Ewles, Simnett 2005). Health was, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy lifestyles to well-being. According to the Ottawa charter (1986), “action on health promotion means building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community actions, developing personal skills, reorienting health services, and moving to the future.” Overall the outcome of this international movement is that successive governments have had to try to implement and or incorporate these nationally. This paper now gives a brief overview of a health promotional campaign on an older person’s rehabilitation unit, the target of this health promotion being the staffs who work on the wards. A practitioner working at the hospital has been given a new role of oral hygiene champion for older people, this role had been devised and the intention to implement the programme across the trust. After an induction the...
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