A Health Needs Assessment (HNA)

Design and conduct a health needs assessment of a community or group with a specific illness or issue. A 4,000-word Essay -Weighting: 100% 

Got to be Public Health illness/issue. Community can be anything small or large – for instance, a community of people with type 2 diabetes or a community of people suffering from food insecurity. You need to focus on the definition of a health needs assessment and ensure you address all of the elements in it

Choose anywhere you want, any Country. 

Introduce the importance of a health needs assessment and describe the process to set up what you are intending to do. However, it is crucial to critique what you will be doing to address the deeply entrenched health inequalities that impinges on peoples access to health and wellbeing resources. Louisa will be assisting you with critical writing after this assessment guidance.

Remember there is nothing more powerful than the voice of the marginalised. Therefore, how do you intend to engage with and meet the needs of members of the community to reduce these health inequalities – who are your stakeholders – co-production with a full understanding of the needs/voices of the marginalised. This requires critique.

Always check that you have fully met the LOS before submission. It’s a good idea to have these in front of you when writing the essay/presentation and tick off the LO’s that you have met 

Good tip here is to possibly choose a topic throughout whole of the programme, so if type 2 diabetes or Food insecurity is your passion then build up your specialism for other modules including the dissertation — same topic different focus but a deep understanding of the complexities in and around your specialised topic area.

Follow the following Assessment Guidelines (Weighting – 100%)

Essay 4000 words 

Design and conduct a health needs assessment of a community or group with a specific illness/issue

• Introduction conveying the remit of the essay/presentation.

• Identify the specific population or group and critically interpret the epidemiological and demographic data about the health issue and social determinants of health.

• Develop a sound argument for the choices that you make in terms of identifying and prioritising the health needs.

• Provide a rationale for your chosen design of health needs assessment and discuss the conduct of the health need assessment. Endeavour to recognise and address barriers and facilitators.

• Discuss must be critical and synthesis must be evidenced with reference to key issues such as power, stigma, empowerment, inequalities, culture, economics, deprivation etc.

• Conclusion should recap your key points and clearly articulate the implication for public health practice.

• References – cite 20 academic sources and apply Harvard referencing correctly and there should be in-text citations after every two to three sentences within each paragraph.

• Proof read to avoid errors associated with grammar, spelling and syntax.


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the profound insecurity as felt by marginalised populations such as Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups in Bradford.  A decade of austerity policies has resulted in reduced working hours; prevalence of zero-hour contracts; increased unemployment; and the inefficient implementation of the UK welfare system have led  to an increase in food insecurity in the UK (House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee HCWEC 2020; Marmot et al. 2020; National Institute for Health Research NIHR 2020; Human Rights Watch 2019).

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted segments of populations, with BAME groups identified as being at significant risk to the effects of the virus due to overcrowded households, health inequalities and deprivation (HCWEC 2020; Whitehead 2020). Additionally, the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing food-related inequalities (differences in the ability to access food across social groups) experienced by BAME groups (HCWEC 2020; Sustain 2020).

Whilst most of us Whilst most of us take food for granted, we are witnessing stark differences in the way that some people experience the food system in the UK. Despite being the fifth richest country in the world, an estimated 8.4 million people are cited as encountering instability in terms of their access to food and a healthy diet (Coufopoulos and Mooney 2012; HCWEC 2020; NIHR 2020). Current evidence suggests that due to the deeply entrenched health inequalities BAME people’s risk to food insecurity is 1.5 times higher than their White British counterparts (Power et al. 2017; Weekes-Bernard 2017; Loopstra et al. 2019; Loopstra 2020; The Food Foundation 2020; Westwater 2020).

In a systematic way working with our stakeholders, we need to assess the food related health problems facing the BAME a population due to their experiences of food insecurity. As demonstrated above, the COVID pandemic has exposed how, why and to what extent certain groups such as BAME appear more prone to illness than others and pinpointing any inequalities in terms of service provision.

We have now identified that the BAME or sub-sections of the BAME community in Bradford requires a health need assessment. Can now do a HNA focusing on its definition and ensure that we address all of its elements to agree on a list of priorities to improve healthcare for the BAME community in terms of food insecurity in a particular area – Bradford.

Another example could be the prevalence of type 2 Diabetes in the UK-based South Asian men living in Bradford. Here, you could highlight the gaps in our understanding of Type 2 diabetes in the UK-based South Asian population as well as to identify the health needs of this community. Here, Population migration from the Indian subcontinent countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (South Asia) to many parts of the world has resulted in over two million South Asian people living in the UK today, which represents 4 per cent of the total UK population ( Daiabetes UK 2017). Alarmingly, South Asian people who live in the UK are up to six times more likely to have Type 2 diabetes than the white population, and with Type 2 diabetes prevalence in England predicted to increase by 47 per cent by 2025, the condition will continue to have a considerable impact on South Asian communities across the UK.

With South Asian people living in Bradford at such an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and more likely to experience some of the serious complications associated with diabetes, this Health Needs Assessment  is both timely and essential. It is hoped that this NNA will encourage collaborative relationships and dynamic partnerships to flourish between researchers and organisations alike, to work towards achieving leaps forward in our understanding of Type 2  diabetes and all its complexities in  the South Asian male population living in the Bradford.

Source – Diabetes UK (2017)