Health and social care assignments typically refer to academic tasks or projects given to students pursuing studies in the field of healthcare and social services. These assignments aim to assess students' understanding of various aspects related to healthcare, patient well-being, and the broader social care sector. They may cover topics such as healthcare policies, patient care plans, ethical considerations, and the role of social services in supporting individuals and communities. These assignments often require students to conduct research, analyze case studies, and develop practical solutions, ultimately helping them develop critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of the complex and interconnected nature of health and social care systems.
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The below report discusses healthcare and its wider determinants to facilitate understanding of the integration of factors and how each factor plays a role in determining the performance of healthcare programs. The various dimensions like physical needs, social needs, and mental needs are briefly assessed in the report. A case study is used to evaluate how the factors affect the health state of an individual. It also encompasses the role of childhood experiences in the contemporary health condition of the adult. It also states the aid available by NHS and government to eradicate inequalities and promote holistic health care for every individual (Naidoo and Wills, 2016).
From the case, we found that Simon is clinically obese and it implies that Simon suffers from an eating disorder. He has been affected by an imbalanced diet and excess dependency on ready meals and fast food. Also, excess alcohol intake has significantly contributed to Simon's obesity.
The below-discussed dimensions and lifestyle choices are vital to assess the impact of these determinants in health improvement. Each determinant has a wider and integrating role to play in the optimum functioning of each aspect of the health of an individual (Naidoo and Wills, 2016).
Physical Needs- Holistic healthcare comprises of physical health of a human being. What we eat and do in our daily routine is a result of our health status. Poor physical health leads to reduced efficiency and health problems like diseases and illnesses. Optimum physical health includes increased performability, high level of focus, and Simon needs to immediately address his condition and change his diet plan and NHS campaign “Better Health” helps individual to get fit from fat. He needs to cut off his alcohol intake considerably and include food that increases his metabolism rate. Simon is at risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, and high blood cholesterol (McDonald et al., 2020). Simon’s condition needs secondary prevention methods to address his physical problem. Simon needs to take blood pressure tests and alcohol blood tests to detect diseases. ‘Better health’ campaign will help Simon to make changes in his routine and adopt daily physical exercise, a balanced diet, and a reduction in alcohol consumption.
Social Needs- Social needs of a human being consists of equal access to healthy food, education, employment opportunities, and safety from society (Marmot, 2020). Inequities in health are rising and NHS has been proactive in addressing this need of the society (Ratcliff, 2017). NHS believes that healthy food, education, and a respectable means of earning a living is a basic health need of an individual. Simon is unemployed and needs to start earning a living. His health condition will be significantly affected and he will start realizing the positive impact of self-reliance, and employability on his health (BMA Science & Education., 2011).
Mental Needs- People need to realize that the mind is a powerful entity and it feeds on things it sees, observes, and surrounds itself with. Holistic healthcare includes concern for mental health and one of the biggest constraints in optimum mental health is unhealthy food and alcohol/drug consumptions. Alcohol and drugs directly hamper the consciousness and conscience of a person that leads to mental illnesses like depression, dementia, and bipolar disorder (McDonald et al., 2020). Simon needs to channelize his thoughts towards positive things and indulge himself in a productive course of action. It has been observed that undiagnosed depression has increased in older adults and therefore remain deprived of help from NHS (NHS, 2021). Simon has been affected by his childhood experiences and his mother’s depression episodes have deeply impacted his mental health. Simon needs to change his thought process and be open to communication that inculcates positivity and good mental health (Naidoo and Wills, 2016).
Spiritual Needs- Determining spiritual needs is subject to the internal state of an individual. The inner conscience helps an individual to differentiate between right and wrong and take meaningful decisions throughout life. In Simon's case, consumption of unhealthy food and alcohol has hampered the inner stability and has resulted in increased negativity and despair (BMA Science & Education., 2011). To receive positive vibrations from the surrounding, Simon needs to let go of his unhealthy intake so that the body becomes receptive to health and positivity and helps Simon to connect with his inner state of being. Spiritual needs are often ignored by individuals and therefore these are added in the holistic healthcare programs. People need to introspect and assess the meaning of their lifestyle choices and integrate it with their purpose in life. Spirituality encompasses hope, positivity, and contentment in a human being (Marmot et al., 2020).
Societal Needs- Human being is a social animal and isolation can affect health from all aspects. A person needs to interact and vent out his/her feelings and listen and understand others' feelings to feel belonged, cared for, and a part of nature. It has been observed that most wealthy people are unable to feel contentment because of the sheer loneliness that sprouts within them (Ratcliff, 2017). Simon needs to be open to conversation and social gatherings to fulfill his need for interaction and affiliation. Simon can meet his friends and family members, join clubs or make new friends from his locality. Simon has already witnessed depression in his family and had to become responsible at a very tender age that has impacted his social interactions. Childhood mental sufferings get unnoticed and people usually don't open up about their experience and it starts affecting their health severely (Marmot et al., 2020). People need to realize that it is perfectly normal to seek help and let the guard down.
Food intake- Food intake is one factor that can be modified according to the health condition of the patient/individual. In the above case, we can discern that the person needs to cut off the intake of fats and carbohydrates considerably to lose weight. Also, alcohol consumption must be reduced significantly so that the health of the person can get optimized. Food intake requirement varies from person to person and therefore it can be modified according to the availability of food choices and body type of an individual
Physical exercise- We choose our actions and activities we carry out in our day-to-day lives. Physical exercise needs are different for every individual. Some need to carry out light activities like brisk walk and yoga whereas others need to adopt rigorous exercises for their health needs like running and weight lifting. An individual can modify his daily routine actions and activities according to his health requirements (McDonald et al., 2020).
Behavior- Healthcare programs have witnessed changes in the behavioral pattern of individuals. changes in lifestyle options and adopting a healthier option often leads mind towards constructive thought process which in turns improves health state of an individual. (BMA Science & Education., 2011).
Social affiliation- A person is free to choose his social circle. An individual is greatly influenced by his friends and social group as there is an exchange of thoughts and perceptions. A healthy social group leads to productive and constructive thoughts that gradually enhance the mental health of a person (Ratcliff, 2017).
Age- Age is an unmodifiable determinant of healthcare and no lifestyle choice can increase or decrease the age of an individual. An individual needs to modify food intake and physical exercise according to his age requirements.
Gender- Gender is an unmodifiable determinant of healthcare as it is a natural state of being. There may be medical advances that facilitate change of gender but a change in gender does not affect the health of an individual, it is merely an inner desire of an individual to change his/her gender. Health considerations do not include gender modification.
Hereditary- Hereditary factors are not modifiable as these are inherited from ancestors. Changing hereditary is not possible and not significant to health improvement. One has to accept and appreciate his hereditary. However, hereditary factors determine the health state of an individual. For instance, weak bone formation can be passed into the young generation of the family.
Culture- One cannot change his culture in which he/she has been brought up. Culture affects health state considerably but cannot be modified according to healthcare requirements (Kobau et al., 2011).
Network of good friends- A good and healthy network of positive friends significantly reduces the chances of mental illness. Simon's isolation has added to his present state as he has no social affiliation. Good friends spread positivity and make a human being lively and happy (Kobau et al., 2011).
Nutritional diet- The food we intake has an impact on our holistic health. What we eat and how we eat our food affects our mental state of being as well as our physical state of being. A healthy and balanced diet adds to positivity and inculcate greater focus level and improved performability (Marmot et al., 2020).
Optimum sleep- Sleep is also a vital factor that determines the health of an individual. An average adult needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every day. Eating disorder and alcohol intake has impacted the sleep pattern Simon. An individual's biological clock alerts him about his sleep pattern and the health aspects related to it.
Physical fitness- Physical fitness is a major determinant of the holistic health of a person. And therefore, it must be a priority of every individual's routine. 'Get Active- Better Health’ is aimed at promoting physical fitness (Kobau et al., 2011).
Unemployment- Unemployment is a big factor of negative emotions flowing internally of an individual. Unemployability gives rise to frustration that might lead to violent and abusive personalities (Of, 2019). Unemployability deeply impacts the emotional wellbeing of a person and therefore hampers the conscience of a human being. An unemployed individual adopts an unhealthy routine and intake of drugs/alcohol that results in further deterioration of health.
Childhood experiences- It has been studied that early adversities hamper health conditions and accumulates over time and pass onto the next generation as well. The early-stage includes disrupted neurodevelopment in the child. These influences include maltreatment, trauma, and toxic stress. In the case of Simon, toxic stress was the reason for negativity and social, emotional, and cognitive impairment that led him to consume alcohol and it further resulted in social problems and obesity in adulthood (Of, 2019).
Health inequalities- NHS states that Health inequalities can be avoided by effective measures as it hurts the health behavior of individuals. Health inequalities are subject to the location, work type, age, and gender of an individual. This hinders the health state of an individual due to unfair treatment and racism (Marmot, 2020).
Childhood conditions form the basis of the health state of an adult individual and it has a stronger impact than any other factor. This is due to the sensitivity of a kid at a tender age. The early stage of development in a child is vulnerable due to a lack of sense of discrimination between what is right and wrong (Of, 2019). For this reason, kids are unable to protect themselves from their environment and get easily influenced by the surrounding conditions. In the case of Simon, there were multiple factors acting upon the child's health at a time. The dependency on ready meals and fast-food leads to insufficient and inappropriate intake of nutrients. These types of food options are high in carbohydrates, fats, and calories whereas the requirement for protein, minerals, and other nutrients is absent. It hampered the holistic development of the kid (Marmot, 2020). Episodes of depression faced by his mother left a deep mark on the mental health of young Simon and it hampered his social and emotional requirements. Depression is a mode of being that not only affects the individual but everyone in his/her surroundings. As he had to take care of his brother and mother quite often, he didn’t explore his childhood and it led to cognitive impairment. As his teenage approached he might have started consuming alcohol to deal with his childhood stress and it became a part of his unhealthy state (Naik et al., 2019). The below system will assess the levels and factors of childhood adversities at different stages of life.
Conception stage- It is the early childhood stage where the child experiences early adversities like maltreatment, trauma, or stress. This stage results in disrupted neurodevelopment and hampers the cognitive development of the child. In the above case, Simon faced toxic stress due to his mother's depression episodes (Naik et al., 2019).
Early Childhood- It is marked by the social and emotional impairment of the child. Simon does not indulge in social activities and remains in isolation most of the time (NHS, 2021). This stage is affected by the limited income of the mother increased responsibility on Simon.
Middle Childhood- Middle childhood continues the deepening of the aspects of cognitive, emotional, and social impairment and forms a base for future health in adulthood.
Adolescence- Adolescence is a very confusing stage in a human's life as they are in a transient phase from childhood to adulthood. This stage is marked by the adoption of wrong habits and risky behavioral pattern. Simon must have adopted alcohol consumption during this phase.
Adulthood- This stage is marked by the existence of diseases and other social problems. In the case of Simon, clinical obesity is the result of his childhood experiences and constraints cumulated over time.
UK’s Children Services play a pivotal role in rendering services like looking after children who are at risk of harm or who are not getting adequate facilities regarding their holistic health (NHS, 2021).
The government's intervention in Working Together, 2015 also lays down a primary framework to assess the primary needs of children's healthcare (Naik et al., 2019). The guidance also includes collaboration with family members to optimize the care program of every child. Lone parents are entitled to legacy benefits like Income support, jobseeker's allowance, child tax credit, and Housing Benefit.
These benefits are significant to support children and their parents to live a healthy and dignified life. If the public is well informed about the benefits and policies of NHS, they can take advantage of policies formulated especially for them (Marmot et al., 2020). This will improve the HDI index of the UK. These services and help assistance are formulated with a view to promoting holistic health and dignified life. UK's policies and legal allowances are examples for other countries in promoting health care and social welfare at a wider level (Naik et al., 2019).
The above report helps us to discern that childhood factors have a deeper and stronger impact on an individual across all stages of development. Holistic health care includes physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs to treat an individual suffering from diseases and illnesses. It discusses the favorable and unfavorable factors affecting the treatment of an individual and exhorts the need for change in the behavioral pattern of the individual suffering from clinical obesity. Individual needs to take a step forward to improve his health condition. In a nutshell, when there is a will, there is always a way.
BMA Science & Education., 2011. The psychological and social needs of patients.
Kobau, R., Seligman, M.E., Peterson, C., Diener, E., Zack, M.M., Chapman, D. and Thompson, W., 2011. Mental health promotion in public health: Perspectives and strategies from positive psychology. American journal of public health, 101(8), pp.e1-e9.
Marmot, M., 2020. Health equity in England: the Marmot review 10 years on. Bmj, 368.
Marmot, M., Allen, J., Goldblatt, P., Herd, E. and Morrison, J., 2020. Build back fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review. The pandemic, socioeconomic and health inequalities in England.
McDonald, H.I., Tessier, E., White, J.M., Woodruff, M., Knowles, C., Bates, C., Parry, J., Walker, J.L., Scott, J.A., Smeeth, L. and Yarwood, J., 2020. Early impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and physical distancing measures on routine childhood vaccinations in England, January to April 2020. Eurosurveillance, 25(19), p.2000848.
Naidoo, J. and Wills, J., 2016. Foundations for Health Promotion-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Naik, Y., Baker, P., Ismail, S.A., Tillmann, T., Bash, K., Quantz, D., Hillier-Brown, F., Jayatunga, W., Kelly, G., Black, M. and Gopfert, A., 2019. Going upstream–an umbrella review of the macroeconomic determinants of health and health inequalities. BMC public health, 19(1), pp.1-19.
NHS. (2021). Treating and preventing ill health [Online]. Retreived from https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/areas-of-work/prevention/treating-and-preventing-ill-health/#:~:text=The%20NHS%20Long%20Term%20Plan,delays%20in%20treatment%20and%20care.
Of, E., 2019. at www. nswnma. asn. au/library-services/book-reviews. LAMP, p.47.
Ratcliff, K.S., 2017. The social determinants of health: Looking upstream. John Wiley &
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