Health Needs Assessment, Practice Population

In: Social Issues

Submitted By scull
Words 6151
Pages 25
Health Needs Assessment:
Practice Population

BSc (Hons) Specialist Practitioner Community Nursing

Word Count: 3836


Public health is a multifactorial approach to the health of the population and is concerned primarily with the promotion of health (Naidoo and Wills 2000). Wanless (2004) defines it as ‘The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts and informed choices of society, organisations, public and private, communities and individuals’. Baggott (2004) agrees with the above, but suggests that public health is fundamentally concerned with the activities of the community to improve health, rather than treatment of disease in individuals.

As a student practice nurse working in a GP practice in primary care I will often be the public’s first point of contact with the National Health Service (NHS) (Ewles and Simnett 1999). Primary care is increasingly being seen as the key area within the NHS for the implementation of public health strategies (Peckham 2003, p.20). It is important, therefore, that I have an understanding of the wider issues which impact on the health of individuals and the population as a whole, in my area of practice (Jones 2000). Carey (2003, p.221) suggests that it is crucial for practice nurses to deliver care that meets the needs, and addresses the public health issues of the local population. One way to review whether health services are meeting the needs of people in that area is to carry out a health needs assessment (HNA) (Pickin and St Leger 1993). This is a systematic method for reviewing the health issues facing a population, leading to agreed priorities and resource allocation that will improve health and reduce inequalities (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) 2005).

This assignment will…...

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