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Public Health Essay

Edwin Chadwick was a very effective campaigner on many different health issues; a few of these things were; working conditions, poor sanitation and poor housing. Chadwick was also known as one of the founder fathers of public health also as the sanitary movement. His report was associated with the environmental factors of poverty and ill health. He then engaged in the help of civil and medical engineering professionals to carry out his idea, this idea were to improve the general health of the population and the general public. Chadwick made recommendations to set up a local authority to deal with the sanitary issues that were in public health. Six years later after Chadwick’s guidance to the National Public Health Act (1894) was passed on board of health establishments. The public health authority will be very important because the promoting education and practice is seen as a key European regional priority and achieving improvements in health.

The work of John Snow (1854) John Snow was also seen as another Father of Epidemiology. Epidemiology means the study of diseases in the human population. Snow was also intrigued about drinking water in the spread of Cholera disease and had come up with the theory that the people who had been drinking the water were the ones that had contracted the disease and were more likely to get the disease to those who had not drunk the water. He then plotted the cases of Cholera on a map and discovered that the people that were ill were all getting their water from the same water pump, located near the river Thames, which was contaminating the drinking water with sewerage. The connection between contaminated water and Cholera disease was then established before bacteriology was able to recognise the causative organism.

John Simon and the 1866 Sanitary John Simon was seen as the third founding father of public health. Simon succeeded Chadwick in his role in public health administration, as he worked thoroughly with the engineers and he also assisted in the installation of the sewage system in the 1850’s and 1860’s. Simon also had a profession of a physician and then followed on to become a medical officer to the board of health in 1855. The chief engineer of the sewage system was Joseph Bazalgette. In 1866 the sanitary act placed a duty of inspection on local authorities and then decided to extend their range of sanitary powers.

2. The significant Public Health Advances in the 20th Century The Beveridge Report (1942) The Beveridge report was issued by an economist and social reformer, which was combined with the development of the welfare state, he was named William Beveridge. After the second world war the government promised reforms that would create a more equal society and then ask Beveridge to write a report on how to support people on low incomes (A report on the ways that Britain could fix itself). The new MP Clement Attlee published the introduction of the welfare state plan in the 1942 Beveridge report. In 1942 he then recommended the government to figure out the ways to figure out the 5 giant evils, these were, ‘want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness’. Beveridge did many reports oh which included; all working people to pay weekly contribution from their wages (TAX), also In return, benefits would be available to, the sick, the unemployed, the retired and the widowed.

Founding of the National Health Service (1948) In 1948 the minister for health was Aneurin Bevan. He was the person who made (NHS) known. The National health service was made in 1948, which it’s main priority was to provide free health care/treatment for all. A national system of benefits was broadcasted to provide social security so the members of the population would be protected ‘from cradle to grave’. The NHS gather up to 10% from central taxes, this makes it fair for the rich to pay a bit more than the poor, Bevan saw this as a crucial part of the scheme. The care is free when needed but later chargers for additional needs were then added on if prescriptions and dentistry treatments were needed. Everybody in Britain is entitled to free care, even people who come visiting the country.

The Acheson report into inequalities in Health (1998) The Acheson report highlights the reality of differences in health and their connections to different social classes. This shows overall downward flow mortality from 1970 – 1990. Donald Acheson made a list of 39 recommendations for addressing the problems following the inequalities of health. These included a number of things such as; improving the standards of education, making restrictions to smoking in public places and tackling alcohol misuse and also increasing benefits for certain groups of people. The 3 areas that are most crucial are; all policies likely to have an impact on health should be assessed in terms of their impact on health inequality, a high priority should be given to the health of families with children and further steps should be taken to reduce income inequalities and improve the living standards of poor households.

Saving lives: Our healthier nation (1999) The labour government created this strategy to tackle poor health after it came into power in 1977. This has links to the Acheson report, as they were also trying to find out the main causes of the ill health. These included unemployment, pollution, low wages, crime and disorder and poor housing. They had main targets which were to reduce the death rates from various killers these were; cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke, accidents and mental illness. To achieve these they decided to put in in more money which was £21 billion to secure a healthier population, tackle smoking as it was classed as the single biggest preventable cause of poor health, intergrating government and local government work to improve health, stressing health improvement as a key role for the NHS and pressing for high health standards for all, not just the privileged few.

3. The significant Public Health advances in the 21st century Choosing health: Making healthy choices easier (2004) The white paper of 2004 recommended a new approach to public health. This reflected a rapidly changing to society, this included the use of IT to make them think about how they might be able to improve there health. There has been acknowledgement of the governments role in promotion of social justice and they have made an effort to tackle wider causes of ill health and equality.

The white paper outlined some important ways to help people make informed choices about their health, they were based on members of the publics views and what would work best for them, these were: Informed choice (people want to make their own decisions about choices that affect their health and to have credible and trustworthy information to help them do so), 2, Personalisation of services and third is social cohesion ( the public are clear that government and individuals alone cannot make progress on healthier choices. Real progress depends on effective partnerships across communities, including local government, the NHS, business, advertisers, retailers, the voluntary sector, communities, the media, faith organisations and many others). There are 6 main problems that need dealing with, there are; Obesity (improving diets), Alcohol related diseases (reduce the consumption), Smoking related problems (reduce it), Sexual health and Increase in exercise and improve mental health.

Health Protection Agency (HPA) (2003) The HPA is an independent UK organisation that was set up by the government in 2003 to protect the public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental hazards. Which also includes education and training. It does this by providing advice and information to the general public, to health professionals such as doctors and nurses and to national and local government. The agency identifies and responds to health hazards and emergencies caused by infectious disease, hazardous chemicals, poisons or radiation. It gives advice to the public on how to stay healthy and avoid health hazards, provides data and information to the government to help inform its decision making and advises people working in healthcare. From 2013 the HPA will become part of Public health England. The agency combines public health and scientific knowledge, research and emergency planning within one organisation and also works at international, national, regional and local levels.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (NICE) is in charge for giving national guidance on the promotion of good health, this involves; independent, authoritative and evidence-based guidance on the most effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat disease and ill health. Guidance is for the NHS, local authorities, charities and anyone with a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services. There are 3 main areas of conduct to inform practice. Firstly, the clinical practice is to treat people with scientific diseases and conditions within the NHS. Secondly, public health is for promoting good heath and preventing ill health and thirdly developing technology with new and existing medications and treatments within the NHS.

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