About health and well-being needs assessment

Different types of health and well-being needs assessment (HWBNA)

The health and well-being needs assessment (HWBNA) templates provided in this toolkit have been developed for use by an individual locality or secure establishment. However, they can be adapted to suit your particular planning or commissioning requirements. You might, for instance, want to work with colleagues more broadly, or you might want to focus on a particular issue or user group.

Assessing need across a region

A project in 2009 in the East Midlands, conducted by university researchers, was a health needs assessment of children and young people held in the four secure establishments in the region (Health needs assessment of children in secure settings in the East Midlands, University of Lincoln, 2009). The sample consisted of all the children held in two secure children’s homes and one young offender institution, and half the children held in a secure training centre. A standard self-report questionnaire about health-related quality of life outcomes was completed by most of the children, and information held on Asset forms was analysed in relation to those held in two of the establishments. Three staff members were interviewed in one site and a focus group was held in another.

The value of doing this sort of HWBNA is the opportunity it provided for moving beyond a single establishment, towards developing a consistent approach to commissioning across neighbouring localities.

Assessing needs specific to gender

In 2005, a health needs assessment was conducted on young women aged 17 in young offender institutions in England (A health needs assessment for young women in young offender institutions, Youth Justice Board, 2006). It covered four institutions, and also obtained comparison information from some secure training centres. It included a questionnaire survey of 73 young women, interviews and focus groups with young women and staff, a survey of current healthcare providers, interviews with staff from youth offending teams and primary care trusts, and literature reviews.

As in earlier studies, the young women fared less favourably on health indicators than male young offenders or adult female offenders, and there was a particularly high incidence of recent self-harm. The researchers commented that young women’s lives before custody were characterised by the struggle to meet basic survival needs (adequate food, shelter, protection from violence and exploitation, freedom from drug dependency) and highlighted the profound social, emotional and health problems of those entering secure settings.

The value of doing this sort of HWBNA is the information it provided for developing appropriate models of healthcare for girls held in custody across the country.

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