Free «Hillingdon PCT’s Lung Cancer Prevention Strategy» Essay

Hillingdon PCT’s Lung Cancer Prevention Strategy


Hillingdon PCT is shifting the focus of health care to self care and prevention and its lung cancer prevention strategy is based on the same focus. Through analysis of the demographics of the area, the population data and several living and working conditions of many households highlight the high level of inequality in the area and the causes for the spread of the disease. Hillingdon PCT’s strategy to prevent the disease is based on these pointers and is directly in line with the government health care policy. 

The Demographics Study

The population that is in focus by the Hillingdon is the same is that of the London Borough of Hillingdon.

The total registered population of Hillingdon is 257,987, of which 129,867 are males and 128,120 are females. 79.1% of the registered population consists of whites and 20.9% of non-whites. Also, 26% are below 19 years of age and 14% are above 65 years of age. From 2000 to 2008 there was an increase of 21% in the ethnic minorities in Hillingdon (NHS Hillingdon, 2008). The ethnic minority in Hillingdon constitutes the younger lot mostly, where it is deprived of several health facilities, some on the other hand are heavily facilitated and enjoy more services than the whites in the area. Hillingdon shaped up its strategy to narrow this gap down between the health care services being offered to the rich and the poor. The socio-economic disadvantages are the main cause of this existing gap among the ethnic groups (Dikhordi and Hollingshead, 2003). Among the social classes that exist in the registered population of Hillingdon, the mortality gap is widening where the gap between the professional and the unskilled people owing to the wealth that buys the health facilities, the mortality gap is 2.9 times greater than it was before sixty years back.

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Due to the Hillingdon’s focus on many major fatal diseases, the life expectancy for women is increasing at a higher rate than men. For women in 2009 it was 80, while for men it was 75. For men the rate is smaller due to the existence of lung cancer which is found to be more among men in Hillingdon. The trend is the highest among the age group of 40-45 according to the 2008 data provided by Hillingdon PCT. Thus, this forms the basis for its public health care strategy for lung cancer (Dowie, 2008).

Living and Working Conditions

The minority that belongs to the non-white ethnic community is the most under the socio economic disadvantages where their living and working conditions pave the way for vulnerability towards many fatal diseases, such as lung cancer and the Hillingdon PCT is trying to focus on those issues. These disadvantages relate to transport, housing, education and health. Mostly, these minorities do not own private vehicles and so do not have access to vehicles and the areas that they live in mostly do not allow them to obtain access to public transport as well and even if it does they lag behind in providing cheap transportation (Goodwin, 2004). The houses that they live in are usually on rent and not owned, which only increases their burden on living expenses (Newhouse et al, 1988). They develop solutions to the cost element by overcrowding their accommodations to allow more people to share the burden and reduce costs. Their working conditions are no different, as their main jobs, owing to lack of education and skills are subject to labor and work in factories (Hillingdon, 2008).

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The education standards maintained by the minority are no less different. Mostly the minorities have not attained level 2 education which results in severe lack of awareness of various diseases that they are culminating within their own household with unhygienic conditions.

The above information has been gathered by the Hillingdon PCT through a survey research on 125 households as of 2008 (no later data is available). Considering the health, education, living and working conditions, the Hillingdon has developed its health care services to support such cases and provide them the health services they need so that the diseases that they have been long culminating within themselves can be halted and prevented, if not cured.

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In comparison with the other areas in UK, London Borough of Hillingdon is much more healthier than Industrial North of England, London Borough of Newham, and Harefield Ward. Hillongdon’s deprived wards do not feature in the country’s worst 10%, thus, giving an indication that the situation is not the worst here (Stone, 2005). However, there are a lot of low skill and low paid jobs, over which a sustainable and healthy future of the area can not be built upon and has to be taken into account (BBC, 2009). 

Health Care Service Strategy

The major difference among the health conditions in the area is due to the inequality among the social classes and the government has not ignored the situation. In fact, its policy for health care services clearly focuses on removing the barriers put forward by the existing inequality.

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The government strategy has the four main themes:

  • To support mothers, families and children in order to break the inter-generational cycle of health;
  • To engage communities and individuals in the process of establishing health sustainability, let be minorities or high esteemed social classes of the state; (Wilkinson, 2006).
  • To prevent illness and provide effective health care treatment that is most accessible to the masses; and
  • To determine the causes of the major diseases prevailing in the area, aiming directly at the health inequalities (Hillingdon, 2008).

The Hillongdon PCT’s strategy is directly in line with that of the government’s. Following are its objectives of its strategy that are directly based on the government’s aims:

  • To track health inequalities
  • To expand patient and public engagement so that awareness regarding the disease can be established;
  • To create a sustainable financial balance so that all masses can afford to save themselves from the fatal disease; (Brokelhurst, 2005).
  • To improve access to primary health care for all groups so that the disease can not take birth; and
  • To support and train staff to provide world class health services for the prevention of lung cancer among the males in Hillingdon (Hillingdon, 2008).

To achieve the above objectives, Hillingdon PCT has put in action strategy to account for the prevention of the spread of lung cancer in the area. Its main focus is toward creating awareness, preventing the disease and removing the inequalities.

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According to the data acquired it is highly evident for the need to focus on the spread of lung cancer among the males of Hillingdon, and the inequalities, living and working conditions that account for it. The Hillingdon PCT has a clear view as to how to prevent the situation and its main tools is awareness and through that it attempts to prevent the spread of the disease, especially among the socio-economically disadvantaged non-white ethnic minorities.

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