Introduction to Public Health Policy, Practice and Professionalism (SBI201)

10 credits

Aim of this module

The aim of this rotation is to introduce trainees to the development of public health policy, practice and professionalism. This module will provide the trainee with an introduction to how public health policy is developed, published, implemented and the impact monitored and aligned to the UK public health framework. They will apply their knowledge as they use their skills of critical review and analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of current policy and the challenges and solutions to successful implementation.

  1. Select and analyse a public health policy using the UK public health framework and critically appraise the knowledge base underpinning the development of the policy.
  2. Critically review the challenges in implementing this public health policy.
  3. Develop and implement (in part or whole) an evaluation plan for a particular public health policy.
  4. Present a summary report of your findings and present it to colleagues, justifying conclusions and recommendations.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Identify a contemporary public health policy to examine.

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2 1

Research the evidence for the need for your chosen public health policy.

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3 1

Analyse the context of the policy.

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4 1

Analyse the factors that have been involved in making the policy.

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5 1

Appraise and critically review the role of stakeholders and stakeholder engagement in policy making within public health.

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6 2

Critically review the literature to analyse:

  • the legislation under which public health policy has been implemented;
  • the public health bodies and patients/patient groups involved in implementation;
  • key levers for successful implementation or barriers where the policy has not been a success.
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7 2

Critically appraise the development and implementation of a health policy, including the identification of key success factors.

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8 3

Evaluate public health policy.

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9 3

Develop and implement a plan for evaluation of a particular policy, exercising professional judgement.

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10 3

Confirm through consultation that the evaluation success factors are appropriate.

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11 3

Present a summary report to colleagues, justifying conclusions and recommendations. 

Discuss:

  • key barriers to implementation
  • solutions for implementation
  • evaluation of the policy.
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You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the UK public health policy framework and the various organisations within it.
  2. Describe the process of implementation of national public health policy.
  3. Describe the process of implementation of local public health policy.
  4. Describe how evidence is used to inform and influence public health policy.
  5. Evaluate how the knowledge base is used to identify current issues in public health.
  6. Discuss the relative merits and disadvantages of individual and population approaches to improving public health.
  7. Describe the role of communication in enabling a range of audiences to understand how the public health function leads to health gain.
  8. Describe the approaches to effective communication with other health professionals and policy makers.

Indicative Content

  • Describe the UK public health policy framework and the various organisations within it
    • Context
    • Content
    • Processes
    • Actors
    • Current issues in public health, e.g. obesity, liver disease, ageing, antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, climate change, migrant health
    • How to recognise and respond to changing public health requirements
  • Describe the process of implementation of national public health policy
    • Legislative framework
    • Levers
    • The challenges and barriers to successful implementation
    • The role of public health bodies in reducing health inequalities
  • Describe the process of implementation of local public health policy
    • Local arrangements within the relevant country, e.g. local authority tiers
    • Levers
    • The challenges and barriers to successful implementation
    • How to engage a diverse range of local communities, including the public, voluntary and charitable sectors
    • How public health policy impacts on patient safety, patient care and health outcomes
  • Describe how evidence is used to inform and influence public health policy
    • Introduction to evidence synthesis and hierarchy of evidence
    • Translation of evidence into policy and practice
    • Introduction to health economics and healthcare effectiveness
    • How global policies and initiatives influence the UK context of public health
    • Similarities and differences in UK and global health policies in one area of public health practice
  • Evaluate how the knowledge base is used to identify current key issues in public health and inform policy
    • Introduction to key sources of public health data
    • Measures of health, including burden of disease and mortality
    • Health needs assessment
    • Evaluation of public health policy and practice
    • Roles of organisations such as NICE, Cochrane
  • Discuss the relative merits and disadvantages of individual and population approaches to improving public health
    • Prevention: primary, secondary, tertiary
    • Prevention paradox (Rose hypothesis)
    • Epidemiological basis to preventive strategies: high risk vs population strategies
    • Use of health economics in approaches to improving public health
    • Describe the role of communication in enabling a range of diverse audiences to understand how the public health function leads to health gain
    • Identify the range of stakeholders and audiences
    • Explores the boundaries of stakeholder engagement and interaction
    • Describe the concept of health gain
  • Describe the approaches to effective communication with other health professionals and policy makers
    • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills
    • Written communication skills
    • Components of good team working
    • The need to engage service users, e.g. local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, who use the information to develop public health policy, strategy, implementation and evaluation
    • Barriers to effective communication
    • Benefits of good communication