AC6644 - Building Community Capacity For Health Improvement

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Specialist Community Public Health nurses and Specialist Practice Community nurses play a key role in the Governments vision in building capacity to enable communities to improve local health. To enable students to carry out this role effectively, they will need to have a thorough understanding of the community and its needs as well as an in-depth knowledge of the determinants of health and evidence - based public health principles. This module will enable the student to demonstrate their knowledge and skill in capturing local community intelligence and using this to inform health improvement strategies. Key concepts such as inequalities, health need assessment, community health and building community capacity will be explored. Learning will be facilitated through lectures, action learning sets and workshops. Formative assessment will be provided through verbal feedback given in workshops, action learning sets and tutorials to support learning. Summative assessment will be in the form of a 3000 word assignment exploring a strategy for health improvement within the student’s chosen community that is based on evidence collected from a rapid health needs analysis. Written feedback will be provided according to level 6 marking criteria.


Aceijas C. (2011) Assessing Evidence to improve Population Health and Wellbeing, London, Sage.

Carr S. Unwin N. and Plerss-Mulloli T. (2007) An Introduction to Public Health and Epidemiology, (2nd Ed). McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead.

Cavanagh S. and Chadwick K. (2005) Health Needs Assessment: A Practical Guide, available at:, accessed on 10.06.2014.

Coles L. and Porter E. (2008) Public health skills: a practical guide for nurses and public health practitioners, Oxford, Blackwell.

Cowley S. (ed) (2008) Community public health in policy and practice: a sourcebook, Elsevier Edinburgh, Baillie`re Tindall.

Harkness G.A. and DeMarco R. (2012) Community and public health nursing: evidence for practice. Philadelphia, Wolters Kluwer Health/ Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

Harvey J. and Taylor V. (2013) Measuring Health and Wellbeing, London, Sage.

Hawtin M., Hughes G. and Percy-Smith J. (2007) Community Profiling: A Practical Guide. (2nd Ed), Maidenhead, Open University Press.

Mawer F.A. and Smith C.M. (2009) Community/public health nursing practice: health for families and populations, (4th Ed), St.Louis, Mo: Saunders/Elsevier.

Nies M.A. and McEwan M. (2011) Community/public health nursing: promoting the health of populations, (5th Ed), London, Saunders/ Elsevier.

Journal articles:

Appleton J. and Cowley S. (2008) Health visiting assessment processes under scrutiny: A case study of knowledge use during family health needs assessments, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45, p.682–696.

Houston A. and Cowley S. (2003) Health needs assessment in the health visiting service and the impact on the ethnic community, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 40, p.85–94.

Jack K. and Holt M. (2008) Community profiling as part of a health needs assessment, Nursing Standard, 22, (18), p. 51-56.

Martin G. P. (2009) Whose health, whose care, whose say? Some comments on public involvement in new NHS commissioning arrangements, Critical Public Health, 19:1, p. 123-132.


Department of Health

Kings Fund

Marmot Review

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement

Public Health England – data and knowledge Gateway –

Public Health England - health profiles –

Public Health England – local health –

Public Health England - Shape –

Public Health Outcomes Framework –

World Health Organisation


Policy drivers underpinning public health
Concepts of health, need and community.
Health inequalities and health improvement
Rapid health needs analysis
Epidemiology and public health
Health Needs Assessment models
Partnership working with users and carers
Collection and analysis of public health data
Strengths and limitations of data and process
Measuring impact and evaluating outcomes
Building community capacity to improve local health
Making recommendations for building community capacity for health improvement


Module aims include:

1. To develop critical knowledge and appreciation of the changing patterns of ‘communities’ health, disease and need to meet the public health agenda.
2. To collect and critically analyse public health data from a variety of sources in order to determine the health needs of a given community.
3. To identify a strategy for health improvement and critically explore how to build community capacity in relation to the chosen health priority.
4. To critically analyse the resource implications needed for the service development.


On completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Critically analyse the socio-economic and political drivers that inform and underpin public health (a1, 2).
2. Collect data from a variety of sources to inform the process of health needs assessment (a 4, c 7, d 5).
3. Critically analyse data, current practice and policy drivers in order to identify specific health needs (b 1, 5).
4. Choose a priority based on measurement of impact to provide a clear rationale for building community capacity to improve health and health inequalities (a 4, d 2)
5. Critically analyse resource implications in relation to role and service development (a 5, c 5, 6, d 4).








This module will be delivered using a variety of approaches to teaching and learning that will support the student’s individual development. Teaching and learning will be by lectures, action learning sets, workshops, group and individual tutorials, directed reading and extensive use of the e- learning portal.


Formative assessment – detail of process and rationale:

Students will work in action learning sets throughout the module to develop their work through shared learning and peer support. Workshops facilitated by academic staff, will be utilised to support students to identify their community, collate and analyse data and the identification of health need. Verbal feedback will be provided by peers and academic staff at workshops and action learning sets to support their learning.

Students will also write a 500 word learning plan detailing the rationale and structure of their assignment (contributing to the summative assignment). Feedback will be given verbally through tutorial.

Summative assessment and rationale for tasks:

This module will be assessed through a 3,000 word assignment. Based on the students health needs assessment of a local community, they will provide a clear rationale for building community capacity to improve health, using a measurement of impact. They will declare the limitations of the data and process used in the health needs assessment. They will be required to draw on relevant research/evidence/national guidance to explore a given project. They will also be required to consider the resource implications necessary for service development. This assignment is summatively assessed against specified criteria and students will be provided with written feedback.

c Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

Students will be provided with formative verbal feedback through workshops, individual tutorials and Turnitin. Summative feedback will be in the form of written comments aimed at developing academic writing style and supporting future learning needs.



Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Location Coach Lane Campus

City Newcastle

Start October 2020

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