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Health is defined as a good condition of mental, physical and social well being. The presence of inequality in a country or area related to social, economic and environmental factors causes inequality in the health system that increases morbidity and mortality. Due to inequality in society, it creates challenges for the economically lower section to maintain a healthy life that leads to illness and a chance of morbidity. This report is focused on social, economic and environmental factors of the UK that enhance morbidity and mortality rate and also evaluate various evidence to analyse patterns of inequalities in the health system that affect health and increase the rate of illness. In addition, this report provides a relation between healthcare wellbeing and its impact on health policies of the UK. Moreover, this report is based on a case study that provides effective information about challenges faced by citizens due to inequality and also states the impact of inequality on their health.
Health inequalities refer to a difference in the health care system among various people from a particular country or area. This inequality in healthcare is mainly caused by social, economic and environmental factors that directly affect health status, availability of treatment, quality of healthcare system and lifestyle of people. It can be seen that people who receive high opportunities regarding socio-economic factors possess a high level of health status and their rate of life expectancy is higher than people from deprived areas (Kingsfund.org.uk 2020). It can be seen by analysing three pillars of sustainability that three factors have an effect on morbidity and mortality in the UK. These are as follows:
Social factors of health determinants are based on education, work environment, unemployment, healthcare facilities and community or housing. As per these factors of society it directly impacts the mortality rate of people in the UK. People with proper education mostly suffer less from any long-term disease. Moreover, effective education increases capabilities and abilities to reduce a negative impact on health by taking proper measures and lifestyles to maintain good health. Improper and inflexible working environment and rate of unemployment create stress and increase the chance of morbidities and mortality rate (Gov.UK, 2018). Moreover, people and children from deprived areas are not eligible to get facilities regarding schooling and meals in the UK.
As per the case study, it can be seen that in Brook Road Street, there are two kinds of social distribution found in the top and bottom end of the street. People from the top end mainly get more social opportunities due to their stable economic status than people from the bottom end of the street. For Bert and his wife Iris it is quite difficult for them at their older age to live in this congested place and without any facilities due to belonging from the bottom of the street area. This affects their health and they suffer from arthritis and type2 diabetes at their old age due to less activity and live an unhealthy lifestyle.
The economic stability of a country or area indicates a higher life expectancy rate of their people. People with stable incomes engage themselves with various activities that keep their health in a proper state. Availability of money and economic stability helps them to afford various opportunities regarding healthcare treatment and also they possess a lower rate of being affected by long term disease. Moreover, people with higher income can improve their lifestyle by engaging themselves with activities or they can engage themselves in an improper lifestyle. In the case of deprived causes, it can be seen that they faced issues due to their lower-income that directly affected their lifestyle and not being able to afford "Minimum acceptable standards of living". This unhealthy lifestyle and poor economic condition lead to high rate morbidities and mortality rates in these classes (Lewer et al, 2021). Moreover, due to poor economic conditions, they felt deprived and can't afford various opportunities regarding education and employment.
In this case, Bert and his family mainly faced issues regarding their financial resources that are why they lived in the bottom part of the street. They faced issues related to their financial crisis that affected their health and lifestyle. It can be seen from this case study of Brook Road Street that Bert and his wife mainly faced issues related to their old age problems like arthritis and several co-morbidities. Due to lack of activities, unhealthy food and lifestyle they faced issues regarding their health. Moreover, his wife suffers from type 2 diabetes and cannot continue her treatment due to the clinic being far away from their home and this is not possible for Iris to proceed with this treatment at the age of 87. Due to poor economic conditions, Bert mainly preferred not to interact with dentists and doctors; they only afforded some paracetamol for their treatment.
The environment is another important health determinant that encourages people to live a healthy and wealthy life by engaging themselves in various activities to maintain their health and well-being (Marmot et al, 2021). According to a case study, it can be seen that the bottom part of Brook road is mainly covered by lower-income families. Due to the presence of a garage and petrol station, it is very much congested with people and due to the enormous number of vehicles in this street, it creates noise pollution. Bret is 89 years old and has lived with his 87 years old wife in this place for over 60years. Due to living in an unhealthy environment, they suffered from type 2 diabetes and arthritis because of fewer activities and mobility. Moreover, due to not the presence of their children at home they faced stress and anxiety that directly affected their health. Due to the presence of an unpleasant environment in their home and community, they faced health issues.
The patterned inequalities in health and illness are income, ethnicity, gender, and measures of deprivation. The people’s ability can determine through their income in order to health-improving goods. The housing condition such as poor quality and overcrowded can increase the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, respriratory diseases, and many more. The other factor is good environmental that can make an advantage in physical and mental health. Several factors influence society and the environment to maintain the health and well-being of people. These are as follows:
It can be seen that people belonging to the higher and middle classes in the UK get better opportunities to maintain the quality and standards of their lives than the lower classes. In upper classes, they possess high economic stability that helps them to maintain education and activities to enhance their health and also have the potential to afford treatment regarding the disease. Differences in class and culture suffered from various morbidities due to fewer opportunities regarding healthy food and lifestyles.
People with lower income have less ability to maintain a minimum standard of life to prevent them from several diseases (Williams and Fullagar, 2019). In addition, it can be seen that in the UK due to differences in culture and classes, their economic stability also differs due to the absence of employment.
Education provides information about disease and increases awareness among people to maintain a healthy life to reduce impact of health hazards. In the UK, It can be seen that differences among people related to their class, culture, race etc face inequalities regarding opportunities in education.
Presence of diversity in people regarding their class, age, culture, race, creates challenges for lower classes to get jobs in various sectors of the UK. It can be seen that due to the lower rate of employment in lower classes it creates challenges for them to maintain their health and lifestyle to prevent several diseases and their impact (Bambra et al, 2018).
Environment helps to increase the activity of people to live a healthy life. As per+ social condition of the UK, it can be seen that the presence of inequality regarding employment, economic stability, education etc create challenges for people to live a healthy life by engaging themselves in various activities to reduce the level of morbidities and mortality rate.
There is evidence in UK that stated about due to morbidity and less mobility it incense rate of musculoskeletal disease in most of the population in UK. As per article it can be seen that due to less activity and mobility in aged people they mainly suffered from inflammatory rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (iRMDs). It can be seen that due to improper activity and lifestyle, anxiety, depression, a pulmonary disorder, stroke, and hypertension in old age it enhances the tendency to suffer through these RMDs (Cook et al, 2018). As per another case study, it can be seen that the areas with fewer guidance about National Institute for Health and care excellence are faced with issues regarding arthritis and they are not eligible to get NHS podiatry Services. It can be seen from this article that due to lack of knowledge regarding podiatry services people of the UK are less engaged them in this process. To minimise these issues regarding foot care and treatment effective stakeholders need to be implemented to provide effective information about NHS podiatry services (McCulloch et al, 2018). It can be seen from another article that the rate of diagnosis and mortality due to the impact of type2 diabetes is quite high in the UK after COVID19. It can be seen due to this pandemic situation and its destructive impact; it directly affects the health of people in the UK. They suffered from several morbidities due to anxiety, depression and low activity that enhanced chances of being affected by type2 diabetes in the UK (Carr et al, 2021). It can be said from collected evidence from the UK that due to social, economic and environmental differences among people living in the UK, they faced issues related to inequality in the healthcare system. As per case study, Bret and his wife face issues regarding morbidity in their old age regarding less activity and inequality in the health care system.
The relationship between healthcare well-being and development of health policies is wellbeing helps people to overcome difficulties and help them to achieve their targets. On the other hand healthcare policy can help to establish guidelines that can make advantages to patients and health care system and healthcare organization. Social belief model, transtheoretical model are the theories of healthcare. A tool that is used by scientist in order to predict patients health behaviour can called healthy belief model. The helath belief model is successful because it has the capability to enhance the probability of detection of diseases. The transtheotical model can change the behavior some stages such as action, preparation, contemplation, precontemplation and termination. Biological factors of this theory stated about various genetic or hereditary information of a patient by proper analysis of family history that helps to take effective measures or treatment for patients to provide health and well-being. Physiological factors indicate mental health of patients that can arise due to biological challenges. In addition, physiological factors may arise due to the availability of disease that causes stress and anxiety in patients (Strober, 2018). Social factors include the socio-economic conditions of patients and their cultures to afford standard life to maintain their health and wellbeing. According to the biopsychological model it provides basic information about physiological conditions regarding a particular disease that affect the health and well-being of people. After analysing this model it helps to develop effective health policies to mitigate these issues and enhance the health and well-being of people in a country. Moreover, analysis of these three factors helps to develop effective policies and healthcare systems to provide effective treatment to people by avoiding inequality. The impact of this development of health policies can help to reduce the blindness. In addition, this can reduce morality from cancer and diabetes diseases by 24% through 2025.
It can be stated from this report that inequality regarding social, economic and environment help to reduce morbidity and mortality rate in a country. By analysis of social, economic and environmental factors of the UK through three pillars of the sustainability model that there are people present regarding their class, race, colour and culture that affect over opportunities regarding education, employment, social activities and healthcare system. People from different classes are not able to maintain standard life and treatment for their lifestyle. Moreover, it can be seen that environmental factors also play an important role to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As per case study in Brook road it can be seen that due to improper environment and unhealthy lifestyle, Bret faced issues regarding their health. In addition, due to poor economic conditions, they mainly avoid treatment and doctors. It can be seen that the biopsychosocial model provides effective strategies that need to be implemented to develop health policies and inequality in the health care system. Throughout the research many theories have taken can impact on the development of health policies such as transtheotical model and helath belief model theory that can help to build the guidelines.
Bambra, C., Riordan, R., Ford, J. and Matthews, F., 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and health inequalities. J Epidemiol Community Health, 74(11), pp.964-968. https://jech.bmj.com/content/jech/74/11/964.full.pdf
Carr, M.J., Wright, A.K., Leelarathna, L., Thabit, H., Milne, N., Kanumilli, N., Ashcroft, D.M. and Rutter, M.K., 2021. Impact of COVID-19 on diagnoses, monitoring and mortality in people with type 2 diabetes: a UK-wide cohort study involving 14 million people in primary care. medRxiv, pp.2020-10.
Cook, M.J., Bellou, E., Bowes, J., Sergeant, J.C., O’Neill, T.W., Barton, A. and Verstappen, S.M., 2018. The prevalence of co-morbidities and their impact on physical activity in people with inflammatory rheumatic diseases compared with the general population: results from the UK Biobank. Rheumatology, 57(12), pp.2172-2182.
Gov.uk 2018. Chapter 6: wider determinants of health. Available at:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-profile-for-england-2018/chapter-6-wider-determinants-of-health [Accessed on 29th January 2022]
Kingsfund.org.uk 2020. What are health inequalities?. Available at:https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/what-are-health-inequalities[Accessed on 29th January 2022]
Lewer, D., Jayatunga, W., Aldridge, R.W., Edge, C., Marmot, M., Story, A. and Hayward, A., 2020. Premature mortality attributable to socioeconomic inequality in England between 2003 and 2018: an observational study. The Lancet Public Health, 5(1), pp.e33-e41.
McCulloch, L., Borthwick, A., Redmond, A., Edwards, K., Pinedo-Villanueva, R., Prieto-Alhambra, D., Judge, A., Arden, N.K. and Bowen, C.J., 2018. UK podiatrists’ experiences of podiatry services for people living with arthritis: a qualitative investigation. Journal of foot and ankle research, 11(1), pp.1-8. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s13047-018-0262-5.pdf
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