Addressing Public Health Issues in Northern Ireland: A Comprehensive Review


This essay aims to highlight the public health issues and find out national health policies that apply to the issues. The focus of the content is identifying the factors that contribute to public health issues in Northern Ireland. Roles of healthcare professionals in preventing and controlling the spread of disease are explained. The factors that contribute to the public health issues in Northern Ireland are identified as Mental health and well-being, alcohol, and diabetes. As a healthcare professionals, the roles and responsibilities attached to maintaining public health are also discussed. Reference population data is presented for the highlight of health determinants.

2. Public health issues

Northern Ireland in the UK is having 3 burning issues such as mental health and wellbeing, alcohol consumption, and diabetes. 88000 people that is around 5.7 percent of the population are diagnosed with diabetes. 90% of such cases are found out as type 2 cases. Approximately "100,000 people in Northern Ireland are living with diabetes and this rises annually by more than 3,000 due to our aging and growing population” and most of them are not yet diagnosed. The prevalence of diabetes in the entire UK in the year 2018-2019 is identified as 3919505. Diabetes is being developed in the worst forms nowadays (, 2021). Approximately, 12.6% of children and younger people are experiencing common mood disorders precisely anxiety and depression. This is 25% higher than other UK nations. Mental stability rates are seen to be quite less in the UK. Psychiatric morbidity in Northern Ireland is 25% higher than in the UK. Health inequalities are increasing, and as a result, the mental peace of people is lost (, 2021). The areas that are most affected in the concerned area are found out with the Troubles of experiencing high deprivation, substance misuse, and suicide rates”.


Prevalence of mental health disorders is suggested to be at a higher rate of 23.1%. Estimated disorders are found to be engaging in 14.6% of anxiety disorders. Mental disorders are complicated further as there is a chronic nature of relapsing observed that is associated with malnutrition. Life-threatening and destructive complications are coming from major depression. Bipolar disorders are being diagnosed now and then. Alcohol is identified to be one of the most damaging components of health risks. Some of the most essential analysis is associated with the overlapping of mental health components with alcohol (, 2021). “73% of adults reported drinking alcohol, with 27% abstaining in this region. 82% of Northern Irish of age 18-29 years are drinking above the level of threats. In 2020, “16,036 deaths registered in Northern Ireland were due to alcohol-related causes”. Local women were seen to be dying out of alcohol abuse. The statutory warnings are required to be managed in different cases. Citizens are sometimes consuming alcohol beyond the level of restricted one that they are suffering from liver issues. These issues are most occurring according to the statistics. It is kind of a menace, which is killing people. Some people are being killed due to negligence issues. The promotion of public health perspectives is essential in my opinion. Within the last 20 years, the healthcare sector has developed exponentially (, 2021). Several policies and regulations are introduced for public health management, however, the effect is not appreciating, hence, this is important to choose the most threatening issue. These three chosen fields are most researched in terms of healthcare and it is identified to be engaging as per the regulatory optimization and determinations. As healthcare personnel, creation of awareness on these issues has become important.

3. Research evidence on main factors of public health issues

Public health is associated with main factors that determine the following such:

Social and economic environment

The physical environment

A person's characteristics and behaviors

The nature of the threat to public health identified concerning alcohol is having a variety of risks such as premature death due to overconsumption of alcohol. Blockage of heart arteries and increase in cholesterol leads towards death and it can be well-identified. The consumption of alcohol in a person's entire life span increases threats of social discrepancies. Moreover, consumption of alcohol causes several violent acts to be committed. Alcohol policies are divided into different departments of the government. Price and tax intervention policies related to alcohol arise due to unequal power or arousal (, 2021). Alcohol poisoning, drowning, or becoming suicidal are important aspects of alcohol. Sexual assault and miscarriage caused by alcohol consumption lately. Breast cancer, mouth, throat, and long-term damage to the immune system are also observed. Dementia and poor school performance has become common in the case of young children. Excessive sweating and hallucinations are long-term effects of alcohol. Both the internal and external factors contribute to alcoholism. Psychological conditions, genetics, and personality factors are important for the management of alcoholism.

Psychological factors:

Certain factors like persons that suffer from depression and bipolar disorders and are developing alcoholism. Developing psychological factors like becoming quite suddenly or feeling unusual sound leads to mental health disorders. In Northern Ireland, approximately 1500 deaths occur each year and that is due to alcoholism (, 2021). In England, alcohol misuse is cited as one of the biggest risk factors. The individual components are organized as well as disabilities are found out.

Drinking history factors:

Alcoholism might be genetic and it can come from genetics on a whole. Personal choices are considerably less influencing and people consume more alcohol. It is usually identified that biological children of alcohol addicts become more alcoholic.

Personal choice factors:

Economic, social, and cultural aspects are associated with the medical conditions of a person. It is also related to access to healthy food and water to become healthy and free from disease. Short and long-term consequences need to be considered for risk factors to be managed. Health factors are associated with uncontrollable risk factors like age, gender, and race (, 2021). Some controllable risk factors that can be changed such as situational behavior choices are also required to be considered for public health policy management. Mental health strategies are undertaken to control depression in younger adults. Every young person has to get enough support in life to ensure a decent standard of living. Health choices are made easier with easily accessible health portals these days.

Local Perspective:

The local perspective is associated with health inequalities and is being impacted by poverty. In a healthcare setting, economic concessions should be provided to needy people. Starting from the immunization improvement the health rates across the UK have been increased. Social discriminates largely impact the national healthcare domain. Some younger adults are being depressed as they are facing such discrimination based on age, race, and gender. The differential concepts of public health are important to be managed as young people are going through severe depression as the population is growing. Local availability of alcohol is causing a death threat for many. People with a younger body and mind get distracted out of their pathways of life (, 2021). They become addicted to alcohol and it is easily available without any actual verification of age. Starting to consume alcohol at such an early age is causing health issues. Moreover, the lockdown situation due to the pandemic has made people idle. People are bound to stay indoors without any activities; They mostly depend on canned food and sugary items, which is heading towards diabetes. Without any exercise and work the mind and body functions are being restricted for most of the people and it is causing a severe threat to the people. Young children with an overeating habit are becoming patients of obesity and are also developing a threat of being diabetic at an early age (, 2021). Social taboos like women trying to suppress their issues and become ill without any treatment are leaving an impact as well. Public health determinants are like policies and monetary issues are involved together.

National Perspective:

National aspects of health legislation are associated with concepts of low income that restricts people from going to the doctor at an early stage. With early detection of issues, the problems can be mitigated and the creation of sustainability can be seen. National components are identified in terms of gaining concessions on medical expenses, 2021. The expenses are managed as per the regulatory improvisation and conceptual breakdown of health care activities.

4. Development of national health policies impacting public health

The national healthcare system of the UK has evolved over the past few years. Liberating the NHS is applicable in terms of predictive, preventive, personalized medicine elements. “Despite numerous political and organizational changes the NHS remains to date a service available universally that cares for people based on need and not ability to pay, and which is funded by taxes and national insurance contributions." On July 12th, the UK government announced "equity and excellence" in a single paper and created a strategy of patient-centered care. "The net NHS expenditure per head across the UK was lowest in England (£1,676) and highest in Scotland (£1,919) with Wales and Northern Ireland at approximately the same level”. In 2008, England alone had employed 132662 doctors with a 4% increase in previous nursing staff. There were superlative increases in manager numbers seen that contribute to the local derivations and health spending on gross domestic product has been increased. 35% between increases in health management perspectives are seen (, 2021). The number of healthcare managers has been increased up to an 82%. The distribution of the NHS workforce according to the main staff group in 2008 can be identified as per the image below.

NHS staffing and number of workforce

Hence, it is clear that the staff shortage issue is well handled. Patient handling is also maintained in this context. There are significant types of trust created that foster mental health and social care. Promotion and management of medicines and procedures are applicable within patient care and client care (, 2021). Local health boards and services are created for the individual management of patients. Over 128 million pounds were spent on improving the service (, 2021). National Health Service act 1946 came into effect on 5th July 1948 and improved overall healthcare processing.

Health and social care act 2012 was introduced to cover up the legal duties regarding health inequalities. The equality of using healthcare perspectives has been aligned in this context. The social value act 2012 requires public sector engagement as local authorities and health bodies can govern services and contracts. Defining social infrastructure and providing data on how healthcare has been changed is observed as with all chosen issues the young people are being affected most.

Ireland's alcohol threat Mental illness data Diabetes Statistic

5. Reflection of role as a healthcare assistant

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Reflective healthcare management can be described in terms of a professional. I have been associated with this profession for quite a long time and I try to indulge in the promotion of awareness for the public. All three issues require support and awareness to be prevented. I am running a team of 6 people that are working both offline and online to educate regarding the issues of healthcare. Health determinants are organized within the systemic involvement of health issue management such as pamphlet sharing and creation on online campaigns (, 2021). Mental illness comes from bullying and I try to promote equality. I try to participate in government-organized campaigns as a healthcare professional to help people deal with alcohol issues. The consumption of sugary products and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is associated with the maintenance of diabetes which I am associated with. I also try to promote sanitation post covid. As a professional, my responsibility underlies to participate in an audio-visual campaign that provides adequate support to the people in need and to improve on their addictions. To conclude it can be said that government needs to focus on strictness of policies for better healthcare.




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