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P1 & P2 Public Health

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P1 - Describe key aspects of public health practice in the UK P2 - Describe the origins of public health in the UK Within this assignment I will describe the public health strategies in the UK and their origins. Public health can be defined as; 'the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organised efforts of society.' Beryl S, 2007, BTEC National Health and Social Care Book 2, page 116 This definition was used by Sir Donald Acheson in a report which he developed known as the 'Acheson report in 1988. He believed this reflected the necessary focus of modern public health within the UK. Public health helps to improve the health and well-being of people in local communities and across our nation in general. 'The dramatic achievements of Public Health in the 20th century have improved our quality of life: an increase in life expectancy, world wide reduction in infant and child mortality, and the elimination or reduction of many communicable diseases.' http://www.whatispublichealth.org/impact/index.html There are six key aspects of health strategies in the UK which I am going to look closely at within this assignment. The key aspects of public health practice include; * Monitoring the health status of the community * Identify the health needs of the population * Develop programmes to reduce the risk and screen for early disease * Control communicable disease * Promote the health of the population * Plan and evaluate the national provision of health and social care Taken from; Beryl S, 2007, BTEC National Health and Social Care Book 2, page 116 * Monitoring the health status of the community This is the first key aspect of the health strategies in the UK which looks closely at the health status of the community. This involves monitoring any changes in the health of the population and also alerting people to any potential problems. ...read more.


Many of the changes which have taken place within the Public Health System are a result of awareness campaigns and awareness which is raised in general by individuals and groups across the nation. The government take into account the health needs of the population and acts on the findings illustrated through national statistics. The government act on these findings by passing laws that are designed to influence the overall health and well-being of the nation. 'In the 19th century, scientists discovered that micro organisms were to blame for killer diseases like cholera and tuberculosis, and officials launched public health efforts to provide clean water supplies and waste-disposal systems.' http://www.nurseweek.com/features/99-12/public.html The Poor Law System in the UK can be traced back to 1349 when the black plague killed approximately 30 - 40 % of the population. 'The Poor Laws passed during the reign of Elizabeth I played a critical role in the country's welfare.' http://www.mdlp.co.uk/resources/general/poor_law.htm Due to the increasing amount of individuals living in poverty a series of laws were introduced by the English Parliament in 1563, 1572, 1576 and 1597 culminating in the 1601 Poor Law. It was administered at Parish level from local rates (money, food, clothes etc.) Workhouses were introduced in 1631 where people who were unable to support themselves could go to live and work. The conditions in the workhouses were dreadful in order to prevent the poor from relying on them. 'Men and women were segregated and children were separated from their parents. In many ways the treatment in a workhouse was little different from that in a prison, leaving many inmates feeling that they were being punished for the crime of poverty.' http://www.nomadtrust.org.uk/page.asp?cID=22 Workhouse conditions began to improve throughout the nineteenth century. Many people living and working in the workhouses died as a result of the harsh conditions and poor health. Below are two diagrams illustrating the horrendous conditions of the workhouses in 1631; Photographs taken from; http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-MSf1QDj-Ek/Rrxm0DN_6FI/AAAAAAAAAK8/MWRm4x3PNbM/s400/workhouse.jpg & http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/OliverTwist.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/WorkhouseChristmas.html The Poor Law Act (1834) was established in 1834. ...read more.


Baker L, 2008, BTEC National Health and Social Care Book 2, page 22 The HPA also works in partnership with others who have health protection responsibilities, providing support and advising, through the DOH, all government departments and also administrations within the United Kingdom. The National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation who is responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health. The role of NICE was outlined in the white paper; 'Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier' which was developed in 2004. The aim of this white paper was to enable and promote people make healthier and more informed choices about their health. 'NICE produces guidance in three areas of health: * public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector * health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS * clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.' http://www.nice.org.uk/aboutnice/ On 1 April 2055, the HDA was transferred to the National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence. NICE guidance is developed using the expertise of the NHS and the wider healthcare community including NHS staff, healthcare professionals, patients and carers, industry and the academic world. http://www.nice.org.uk/aboutnice/ Overall, within this assignment I have looked in detail at the key aspects of public health practice in the UK. I have taken into consideration the six keys aspects of public health including; monitoring the health status of the population, developing programmes to reduce the risk and screen for early disease, controlling communicable disease, promoting the health of the population and planning and evaluating the national provision of health and social care. I have also described the origins of public health by looking in detail at the historical perspectives of the public health system. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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