The places we go, the activities we do and the people we interact with all have the potential impact on our own and other people’s health and wellbeing. This is because human health is shaped not just by whether a person has an injury or illness, but by a complicated mix of different factors collectively known as the ‘wider determinants of health and wellbeing.’ These wider determinants include:
- Physical Activity Opportunities.
- Food Consumption and Food Availability.
- Air Quality.
- Crime and Community Safety.
- Illegal Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol.
- Economy and Employment.
- Environment and Climate Change.
- Equality and Community.
- Access to Services.
It is important that these wider determinants of health are appropriately and proportionately considered when developing activities, services, policies and projects in order to ensure that all we do promotes good health and wellbeing.
How we ensure health is properly considered? – Health Impact Assessment
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is tool used to ensure the wider determinants of health are appropriately and proportionately considered when developing and reviewing services, activities, policies and projects.
HIA uses a systematic and evidence based approach to identify and assess what effect a service, activity, policy or project may have on the wider determinants of health and the health and wellbeing of different groups of people.
The findings of HIAs are used to make recommendations to as to how any positive health impacts may be increased and any negative impacts reduced.
In the Wakefield district HIAs are used by a number of service areas to ensure impact of their activities on health are properly considered. This section of the JSNA has been developed to provide information intended to support and assist people to undertake HIAs.