Ealth Needs Assessment Proposal (2,000 words)

Introduction to the module HS 2101

Health systems vary widely in performance, and countries with similar levels of income, education and health expenditure differ in their ability to attain key health goals. In 1980, the Black Report addressed the issues of health inequality its findings became the focus for both public policy and academic study.

It is a recurring theme that people affected by one dimension of deprivation are more likely to experience multiple deprivation, the United Kingdom has a number of population groups that are often on the margins of society and particularly at risk of poor health. These groups have particular health needs, yet experience more difficulty in gaining access to health care services.

Exclusion and discrimination are major risk factors for poor health and health inequality. This affects those sometimes referred to as equality target groups/communities and includes Black and minority ethnic people; disabled people; people with mental health problems; gay, lesbian and bisexual people; transgender people; gypsies and travellers; asylum seekers and refugees.

Although not everyone within these groups will experience deprivation and poor health, the likelihood is greater. Additional risk factors are poor support systems, isolation, alcohol and substance misuse and unemployment. Particularly high risk groups are problem drug users; people in prison; commercial sex workers; homeless people. Many people fall into more than one of these groups and may have complex health needs.

This module will endeavour to introduce students to the criteriaas that govern the assessment needs of a population within a community with complex health needs.


Module Specification

Module Title:
Assessing Population Health Needs Level: 2

Credit: 20

Pre-requisite: HS1112 Introduction to Public Health

Main aim(s) of the module:

To introduce students to the ways in which health needs and health status are assessed within various communities and facilitate an understanding of scoping health needs through the use of relevant health information.

Main topics of study:

Common disease aetiology
Health needs assessment
Health impact assessment
Environmental impact assessment
Common evaluation methods in health
In-depth exploration of determinants of health and disease and health inequalities
Epidemiological data synthesis and analysis
Public health intelligence


1. Identify the various types of need and their significance for health needs and health status assessment;
2. Define the various approaches and stages to assessing health status and health needs;
3. Identify the impact of the environment on health status; and
4. Identify the significance of assessing health status and needs and planning for public health.

Thinking skills

5. Reflect on the role of public health in meeting and provisioning for population health.

Subject-based practical skills:

6. Write, discuss, debate, present, research and develop critiques around the ways in which health status is impacted by environments and the meeting health needs.

Skills for life and work (general skills)

7. Develop transferable writing, analytic, time-management, research and presentation skills.

Teaching/ learning methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:

Lectures, seminars, interactive group work, group presentations, independent research, library and independent study

Assessment methods which enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the module:

1. Population Profile Presentation

2. Health Needs Assessment Proposal (2,000 words) Weighting:

70% Learning Outcomes demonstrated
1, 3, 6, 7

1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7

Reading and resources for the module:

Cavanaugh, S. and Chadwick, K. (2005) Health Needs Assessment: A Practical Guide. London: NICE.
Available at: health_needs_assessment_a_practical_guide.jsp

Coles, L . and Porter, E. (2007) Public Health Skills: A practical guide for nurses and public health practitioners. Oxford: Wiley and Sons.

London Health Commission (2002) A short guide to Health Impact Assessment: informing healthy decisions. Available at: hiaguide.pdf

Lichtenberger, E., Mather, N., Kaufman, N. and Kaufman, A. (2004) Essentials of Assessment Report Writing. Oxford: Wiley and Sons.

Kemm, J. (2001) a?Health Impact Assessment: a tool for Healthy Public Policya, Health Promotion International. 16(1), 79-85.

Aceijas C. (2011) Assessing Evidence to improve population Health and Wellbeing, Learning Matters Ltd.