The health needs assessment (HNA) process is being used to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of health and health care services and to continue to make them more sensitive and appropriate for local populations. The process is currently being undertaken in a number of key service areas, and is being followed in one commissioning authority in the United Kingdom with a population of nearly half a million: Bradford uses the Health Care Cube framework for information analysis. This activity is regarded as being essential to the improvement of the health of the population of Bradford and in keeping with the Health of the Nation ethos. It extends the process from assessment of need for a single client group or disease/condition, e.g. heart disease, HIV/AIDS, maternity services, to enable resource allocations to be directed towards one programme for health improvements compared with another, or indeed several others, e.g. heart disease or HIV/AIDS or maternity services.
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