What is Public Health? Key Aspects of Public Health Practice Strategy How is this done? Examples (at least 2) Monitoring the health status of the population Following changes in the health of the population and notifying people to possible problems. The rising levels of obesity within the population. Identifying the health needs of the population Once trends and patterns are recognised, the likelihood of implications for services can be identified. In relation to obesity, this can mean measuring the likelihood of higher needs for diabetes support services.
Developing programmes to reduce risk and screen for disease Trying to lower the levels of ill health by presenting new programmes that recognise people as being ‘at risk’ of a condition and engaging them in preventative programmes.
For example, a doctor recognising that an individual is at risk of getting diabetes because of their obesity and referring them to weight management programme for support in losing weight.
Controlling Lowering the impact of infectious While there are clear examples such as communicable disease diseases through immunisation and other control measures. measles, mumps and rubella, this may also include food hygiene measures in restaurants and take-aways to control the spread of food poisoning. Promoting the health of the population Health-promoting activities to lower ill health in the population.
For obesity, this may include campaigns inspiring people to be more active or eat more fruit and vegetables. Planning and evaluating the provision of health and social care Measuring the provision of relevant health services and whether or not they are having sufficient impact on the problem.
In the case of obesity it may include measuring whether or not: ?local services can meet the request for weight management support ?there is sufficient ‘capacity’ (i.e. service provision) to meet the increase demand for obesity-related services? the existing model of services in managing to support people to lower their weight and sustain that change.
Target setting Important targets for a locality, region or country that may to disease result in reduction, improved vaccination rates, etc. A national government target is to halt the rising rates of obesity in children under the age of 11 by 2010. A relevant local target might be based on weighting and assessing reception and Years 6 children. This data could be used to track progress against the national target.