Clarifying health impact assessment, integrated impact assessment and health needs assessment

Clarifying health impact assessment, integrated impact assessment and health needs assessment

Cross-sectoral approaches for improving health and reducing health inequalities

This paper, produced by the NHS Development Agency, provides a straightforward summary of three approaches used across sectors to help improve health and reduce health inequalities: health impact assessment (HIA), integrated impact assessment (IIA) and health needs assessment (HNA). Each approach produces recommendations for decision-makers, for example, to make suggested amendments to a proposal or change ways of working (HIA and IIA); or to inform strategies, service priorities, commissioning and local delivery plans (HNA).

All three approaches are designed to take account of health inequalities; HIA and IIA by looking at how proposals might affect the most vulnerable groups in society, and HNA by providing a picture of local needs and ensuring joined-up working at all levels. Key to the success of each approach is the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, gathering the views of the community, and using the best local evidence within available resources. [Adapted from author]

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