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C: Users Shelton Boss Documents Btec Diploma Health And Social Care Public Health

2222 words - 9 pages

Public health is ‘The science and art of promoting and protecting health and well-being, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organized efforts of society’. Public health as we know it today has moved on from what is considered the origins in the 19th century. However the core principles to which it was set up and developed still remain the same. It has always been population based and it has always ensured people stay healthy and avoid getting ill. To understand public health you must look at the developments from the 19th century to modern day, the social reformers who made changes to law and the way people live there lives. Also understand the key factors and strategies ...view middle of the document...

Sir Edwin Chadwick was an English social reformer, noted for his work to reform the Poor Laws and improve sanitary conditions and public health in 1842, Edwin Chadwick argued that disease was the main reason for poverty, and that preventing disease would reduce the poor rates. He played a vital part in getting early legislation, such as the Public Health Act1848, passed. This act created a general board of public health to remove what was thought to be the main causes of disease from the urban environment. John Snow was also a leading figure at this time. He was an English physician and a leader in the adoption of anaesthesia and medical hygiene. He is considered to be one of the fathers of epidemiology, because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, England, in 1854. A significant event in the history of epidemiology and public health was Dr. John Snow's study of an 1854 outbreak of cholera in Soho. He identified the cause of the outbreak as water from the public water pump located at the junction of Broad Street. Snow worked out that the sick were all in close proximity of the pump and persuaded the authorities to have it removed. This is an early example of epidemiology, the application of science and public health medicine. There were many other social reformers such as Joseph Lister. He discovered antiseptics in 1965 and pioneered regular hand washing and started the use of gloves. Lister was also the founder of the aseptic technique; this encourages hygiene when using surgical instruments and equipment to keep them from bacteria as much as possible. Florence Nightingale was famous for her contribution to health care realising there were links between sanitation, poor hygiene and patient’s welfare. Information she gathered on incidence of deaths, led to increased chances of survival once conditions were improved with the disposal of waste and better hygiene practices.

This need for a better public health led to major public health reforms. Other reform including the 1848 public health act was the 1865 Sewage Utilisation Act, laying down national standards for safe sewage disposal. The 1866 Sanitary Act, this ensured local authorities to comply with previous legislation. Two more public health acts followed in 1872 and 1875. These pieces of legislation that amalgamated and defined all earlier regulations, by setting down regulations of authorities with regard to environment health up to 1936. The 19th century saw the beginning of change in public health. However it has continued to change and reform in the 20th and 21st century.

After the Second World War the government promised reform because there was a strong belief that British people should be rewarded for their sacrifice and fortitude. They aimed to create a more equal society and asked William Beveridge to write a report to work out the best ways in which to help the people on low income. In December 1942, Beveridge published a report advising...

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