The Department of Health (DH) and its health campaign
The Department of health helps people of Britain to live better for longer. The Department of Health lead, shape and fund health and care in England and making sure that people get the right support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve.
The Department of Health responsibilities:
- The Department of Health lead across health and care by creating national policies and legislation, providing the long term vision and ambition to meet current and future challenges, putting health and care at the heart of government and being a global leader in health care policy.
- The Department of Health support the integrity of the system by providing funding, assuring the delivery and continuity of services and accounting to Parliament in a way that represents the best interest of the patient, public and tax payer.
- The Department of Health champion innovation and improvement by supporting research and technology, promoting honesty, openness and transparency, and instilling a culture that values compassion, dignity and the highest quality of care above everything.
- Above all, the Department of Health encourages staff in every health and care organization, including our own, to understand and learn from people’s experiences of health and care and to apply this to everything we do.
The Department of Health priorities:
- Preventing people from dying prematurely by improving mortality rates for big killer diseases, to be amongst the best in Europe, through improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
- Improving the standard of care throughout the system so that quality of care is considered as important as quality of treatment, through greater accountability, better training, tougher inspections and more attention paid to what patient say.
- Improving treatment and care for people with dementia, to be among the best in Europe through early diagnosis, better research and support.
- Bringing the technology revolution to the NHS to help people, especially those with long term condition, manage their health and care.
In order to achieve and implement the best possible care to the people of Britain, the Department of Health is supported by 24 agencies and public bodies who work across the country. The NHS England is the main department that carries out health and care services and also provides national and international health campaign in Britain.
The Campaign Resource Center aims to provide a one-stop shop for all Department of Health public health campaign activities for anyone who works directly with the public.
The Department of Health campaigns are intended to help people:
- To become engaged with their own health and wellbeing.
- To be able to understand how lifestyle choices impact on current and future health outcomes.
- To be able to obtain sound advice about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, and
- To be able to access appropriate services, products and tools to help the people change their behavior.
The Public Health offices together with the Department of Health has several major health campaigns that has been well organized and structured for the people to raise the level of awareness to the big killer diseases in Britain. The Department of Health and the NHS have pioneered the use of social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) to change health behaviors, with some considerable success mainly due to the ever changing technology nowadays on how people find out information for them to raise their level of awareness to certain diseases.
Among the popular campaigns that have been implemented by the Public Health together with the Department of Health are the Act FAST and Smoke free.
Act FAST campaign
The Act FAST campaign is to raise awareness of people about STROKE. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in England each year, and accounts for 10% of deaths (more than 45,000). It kills more women than breast cancer. Being able to identify and detect early signs after the onset is crucial to the effectiveness of Stroke treatments.
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The campaign is about raising the level of awareness of people about signs of Stroke, it also encourages people to call 999 immediately so that those experiencing stroke can be seen within three hours of onset.
The marketing campaign for Stroke is comprised of TV advertising, radio, outdoor, PR and partnership activity. The F.A.S.T was a fantastic mnemonic (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) that brought it home what to do if somebody’s having a stroke and will without doubt save lives.
It was originally launched in February 2009 which highlights the visible signs of stroke, the Act FAST campaign is specifically designed to inform the public about FAST – Face, Arm, Speech, Time to call 999. FAST is a simple test to help people recognize the signs of stroke and understand the importance of emergency treatment. The faster a stroke patient receives treatment, the better their chances of surviving and reducing long term disability.
When Stroke Strikes ACT FAST:
Face – Has their face fallen to one side? Can they smile?
Arms – Can they raise their arms and keep them there?
Speech – Is their speech slurred?
Time – Time to call 999 if you see any of these signs
Another campaign which the Health and Care sector of Britain gives focus is about the smoke free campaign which provides the people of Britain necessary information on how to quit smoking successfully.
Smoking in Britain is still the biggest cause of preventable death and disease. The SmokeFree campaign is piloted by the NHS which is a nationwide campaign and funded by the Department of Health which aims to provide motivation, information and support to those who want to quit smoking.
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Different campaign resources are being used to relay information to the people and actually giving specific campaign materials to individual suited to their needs in quitting smoking. A number of campaign materials are being use here in the UK like the use of brochures, quit kit and resource center to support people in quitting smoking.
Smokefree kit guides are available online, brochures and leaflets that are being distributed all throughout the United Kingdom. It also uses media like television, radio programs and on the internet showing ways to quit smoking and how to eradicate the deadly effect of smoking to the person directly and indirectly.
The stoptober 2014 is a slogan made to encourage mass participation to quit smoking by October. This effort was launch three years ago and it was slowly increasing the number of people trying to quit smoking and totally stop smoking by October. The stoptober leads smokers through a detailed step-by-step program to help them achieve their goals. There would be lots of free resources available for partners supporting the campaign.
Smokefree homes and cars campaigns
In Britain, over eight hundred children visit their GPs every day due to the serious effects of second hand smoke exposure. The campaign is sponsored by the Public Health England which increases awareness of the hidden dangers of smoking in their homes and cars.
More than 80 percent of second hand smoke is invisible and odourless, it contains harmful cancer-causing toxins and poisons. Everyday millions of children in the UK are exposed to second hand smoking, which puts them at increased risk of lung disease, meningitis and cot death. The treatment, hospital and GP visits for second hand smoke related illnesses cost the NHS about £23.6 million each year.
This campaign was launched from January 1, 2012 to help people to quit smoking. Smokers will be able to pick up a free quitkit from thousands of pharmacies in England. The NHS quikit is a box of practical tools and advice developed with smokers and experts which has helped thousands of smokers to quit successfully.
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health/about (accessed 08/07/2014)
http://campaigns.dh.gov.uk/about/ (accessed 08/07/2014)
http://campaigns.dh.gov.uk/category/smoke/ (accessed 14/07/2014)
http://2013.ncas.brintex.com/zone/ExhibitorList/Exhibitor/11272/DepartmentOfHealth (accessed 15/07/2014)
http://campaigns.dh.gov.uk/category/act-fast/ (accessed 15/07/2014)
http://campaigns.dh.gov.uk/2013/06/05/smokefree-homes-and-cars-campaign-launched/ (accessed 15/07/2014)
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