Health Assets and Needs Assessment in Tallaght (HANA project)
Catherine Darker, Lucy Whiston, Jean Long, Erica Donnelly-Swift, Joe Barry
Adelaide Health Foundation, Tallaght University Hospital
South Dublin County Council, Fettercairn Community Health Project, Health Intelligence, HSE, HSE Primary Care
What we set out to do
We set out to update the findings of a health needs assessment carried out in Tallaght in 2001. In addition, we wished to assess the health and well-being assets of the participating households. This asset-based aspect was not included in the 2001 survey.
How we did it
We conducted a survey in the 13 electoral divisions of Tallaght. Letters were sent to 420 randomly selected households, inviting the primary carers (see glossary of terms) to participate in the survey. We selected the households employing a cluster sampling methodology. We randomly chose 30 clusters from the six less deprived electoral divisions and from the seven more deprived electoral divisions of Tallaght. Each of the 30 clusters consisted of seven adjacent households. We interviewed the primary carers in their homes using an interviewer-administered questionnaire.
Of the 420 households selected to participate in this research, a total of 82% (n=343) participated, indicating a keen interest in health and wellbeing related issues. Data were collected on 1082 individuals residing in these households.
Top three good and bad things
The top three good things about living in Tallaght were:
- amenities, like The Square shopping centre, parks and leisure facilities;
- community spirit and neighbours; and
- public transport, like the Luas.
The top three bad things about living in Tallaght were:
- a lack of amenities, like activities for young people;
- antisocial behaviour, like joyriding and gangs; and
- crime, like thefts and burglaries.
Four out of every 10 (44%) households included a person who smoked. This compared to almost seven out of every 10 (69%) households in 2001.
In the last 12 months, about seven out of every 10 (67%) primary carers reported experiencing stress. This compared to almost six out of every 10 (59%) primary carers in 2001.
Illness and disability
Of those that had a chronic illness, the most common self-reported chronic illnesses in 2014 were:
- heart disease (38% – almost four out of every 10 people);
- diabetes (15% – between one and two out of every 10 people); and
- respiratory (lung) disease (15%).
Almost two out of every 10 (18%) households had one or more people who were receiving a disability allowance. This compared with 11% of households in 2001.
Those asked said the following were all assets:
- education facilities, like crèches and schools;
- community services, like hobby facilities and community centres; and
- sports clubs, like GAA and football facilities.
Tallaght University Hospital
In the previous 12 months, almost one in four (23%) of household members had used Tallaght University Hospital. Nearly all (94%) believe that the hospital is beneficial to the surrounding community mainly due to how easy it is to access from their homes.
Among primary carers, almost half (44%) said they would like to be involved in decisions, which are made to improve or change services within the Tallaght University Hospital.
Almost one in 10 households (9%) said there was a person in the household who was on a waiting list for treatment in Tallaght University Hospital.
Just over half (54%) were satisfied with the care that they received in Tallaght Hospital A&E. The remainder (46%) were dissatisfied due to long waiting times, the slow rate of care giving and the lack of cleanliness.
Nine out of 10 (90%) of households said they were satisfied with their GP (doctor).
Primary carers were asked if they would prefer to have a blood test, X-ray and ultrasound done by their GP or in the hospital:
- blood test – seven out of 10 (70%) preferred their GP;
- X-ray – just over half (53%) preferred their GP;
- ultrasound – just over half (52%) preferred their GP.
From the results a series of evidence based recommendations were made to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Tallaght.
The findings from the HANA project have been used by a number of key stakeholder groups to advocate for improvements within the Tallaght area. These groups include but are not limited to: South Dublin County Council, Tallaght University Hospital, Local Sports Partnerships, HSE mental health services, local General Practices.
Radio interviews: Newstalk The Right Hook, RTE Drivetime, Today FM News, 98FM news, Dublin South FM, Dublin City FM,
Irish times: Paul Cullen
Independent: Eilish Regan