29 June 2010

UK Public Health Association Publishes a Position Paper on HIA

The UKPHA, through the work of its Health and Sustainable Environments Special Interest Group, has recently published a HIA position paper arguing that HIA is one important approach to improving community health and wellbeing.

• strongly supports the use of HIA as a means to achieving better health outcomes in all areas of policy, strategy and development.

• advocates the use of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as an important and effective approach to ensuring that community health and wellbeing is being protected and improved.

• recommends that HIA should become a mainstream approach, and considers that the uptake, quality and standing of HIA should be enhanced through its regular and consistent application across new policies, plans, programmes and projects.

• believes that the promotion of HIA and HIA techniques can provide a valuable focal point for greater interaction between health, and strategic and development planning bodies, and help to bring about the wider application of good practice in this area.

The UKPHA HIA position paper recommends:
• Routine use of HIA at a strategic level on new policies and plans
• Routine use of HIA at an operational level on new programmes and projects
• Developing stronger guidance and leadership at national and local levels
• Integrating HIA into others forms of impact assessment

Disclosure: I am one of the UKPHA members who helped write up the position paper.

The UKPHA is an independent, UK wide voluntary association, which brings together through our membership, individuals and organisations from all sectors, who share a common commitment to promoting the public's health. The UKPHA mission states that through our members, activities and co-operation with others, we aim to be a unifying and powerful voice for the public's health and well being in the UK, focusing on the need to eliminate inequalities in health, promote sustainable development and combat anti-health forces