The Public Health Agency (PHA) has identified ways of delivering cardiovascular services that will help to tackle health inequalities. These are described in a new “health impact assessment” report, launched on 1 June at the Maureen Sheehan Centre, Belfast.
The PHA, in partnership with a wide variety of community, voluntary and statutory bodies, leads the work to improve cardiovascular health and wellbeing, through better prevention and treatment services, delivered through a ‘cardiovascular service framework’. The result of a wide consultation, this new report will help to improve the way those services are delivered by focusing on the needs of disadvantaged people.
Explaining the importance of this work, Dr Adrian Mairs, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency was set up to tackle health inequalities and promote better health and wellbeing across Northern Ireland. Despite many improvements in prevention and treatment, cardiovascular diseases remain the main cause of death in Northern Ireland. We know that these diseases, including heart disease, stroke, circulation problems, diabetes and renal disease have a greater and more severe impact on people living in poverty.
“This work will help us to reduce the health inequalities that exist in our society by improving the way cardiovascular services are developed and delivered, eg ensuring stop smoking services meet local needs, identifying and treating high blood pressure, and helping people to take their medicines properly.”
The health impact assessment has been developed from other work, including a literature review, cardiovascular health and wellbeing profile, and full technical report. All of these resources are available on the PHA website, under ‘Directorates’, ‘Service Development and Screening’. The work will also be used to help the development of service frameworks covering other disease areas.
Putting a health inequalities focus on Northern Ireland cardiovascular service framework - Summary report: www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/putting-health-inequalities-focus-northern-ireland-cardiovascular-service-framework-sum
Cardiovascular health and wellbeing profile for Northern Ireland: www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/cardiovascular-health-and-wellbeing-profile-northern-ireland
Cardiovascular health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland - Literature review: www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/cardiovascular-health-and-wellbeing-northern-ireland-literature-review
HIA focus (newsletter): www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/hia-focus
Contact the PHA Press Office on: (028) 9031 1611.
Notes to the editor
- The health impact assessment was developed by the PHA with support from the Institute of Public Health and an international HIA expert, Ms Erica Ison (Oxford).
- Consultation contributions were received from: the DHSSPS, Health and Social Care organisations, voluntary and community groups, and the public (through healthy living centres and health action zones).
- After the launch – All documents will be available on the PHA website, under ‘Directorates’, ‘Service Development and Screening’: www.publichealth.hscni.net/directorate-public-health/service-development-and-screening
Pictured at the Cardiovascular Service Framework Health Impact Assessment Launch, at the Maureen Sheehan Centre, Belfast are (L-R) Dr Christine McMaster, Public Health Agency (PHA); Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA; Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety; Mr Sheelin McKeagney, Southern Local Commissioning Group, HSC Board; Ms Liz McShane, HEART project, Maureen Sheehan Centre and Ms Claire Higgins, Institute of Public Health in Ireland.