This assignment aims to assess and evaluate how social, demographic and environmental factors affect the health status of the chosen community and the individuals living within that community. Through the evaluation and analysis of demographic and epidemiological data it will be possible to discover any health needs which may exist in the local community and discuss how they might be addressed. Demographic factors are those which demonstrate the change in structure of the population such as births, deaths, immigration and incidence of disease. Whereas, epidemiological factors take into account the incidence and distribution of disease and how these problems can be managed by health care providers (Oxford concise dictionary, 2006). Naidoo & Wills (2000) agree with this definition stating that epidemiological factors are indicators of levels of morbidity and mortality and the types of disability or disease and causes of death in the population. Therefore, in order to be able to assess whether there any health needs in a specific area a profile of the community using demographic and epidemiological data must be compiled. Community profiling, also referred to as a health needs assessment, is important as it allows health care professionals to identify health needs within a specific area. This in turn allows for appropriate allocation of resources in order to provide the community with the service provisions that are required for the health improvements of the population. The nursing and midwifery council highlight that nurses have a responsibility to participate in community profiling and the identification of health needs. According to the NMC (2008) code of professional conduct, nurses should protect and support the health of individuals and the health of the wider community. This is also reinforced by NICE (2005) who state that health needs assessment is a systematic method which should be employed by all community health care professionals when reviewing health issues in that population, allowing allocation of resources and service provisions that will reduce inequalities and improve health. Therefore, it is clearly an important role of health care professionals to use community profiling as they all have a responsibility to provide sufficient services to improve the health of the population. Many of the statistics used to profile the community will be taken from the 2001 Census data. However, due to the age of the data it is realised that these statistics may not be as accurate as desired for the same community in 2011 as they are taken before the recession would have had an impact on the locality. The data for the area being profiled will be compared to data for Swansea as a whole and to Wales in order to analyse and evaluate the health needs that exist in the population. Geography
The community being profiled is Townhill, a small ward in the relatively young city of Swansea located near the M4 motorway in South Wales. The area consists of a large council estate spread over a steep hill close to the city centre overlooking Swansea bay (shown on map below).
(City & County of Swansea research and information team, 2008)
The city of Swansea is renowned for its role in the industrial revolution. During the 19th century Swansea metal working trades grew until 90% of the world’s copper was smelted there and the port also boomed through the export of metals and coal. According to Rosser et al (1998) during this huge increase of industry in Swansea the population grew from 6,000 in 1801 to over 65,000 by 1881, most of the population had migrated to the area. This rapid increase in the population was most likely due to the availability of employment in the town. However, following the construction of the docks in Cardiff and the...
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