Issue - meetings

Update on Women's Health in Enfield - Cervical Cancer Motion, access to family planning, pregnancy packs, health visitor drop-ins

Meeting: 08/03/2023 - Health & Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel (Item 5)

5 Women's Health in Enfield pdf icon PDF 633 KB

The report informs the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel of the state and key challenges to women’s health in the London Borough of Enfield and outlines current activities and services for women’s health.



The report from Sophie Maule and Dr Dean Connolly, Public Health Specialty Registrars informed the Panel of the state of women’s health and outlined current activities and services for women’s health in the London Borough of Enfield, including the key challenges to women’s health.


The main considerations for the Panel were

1.    Gender-based disparities contributed to poorer outcomes across several health and wellbeing domains.

2.    Women had a higher cost per capita in A&E attendance compared to men in Enfield regardless of level of deprivation.

3.    Multi-sector work was underway to address women’s ill health, focusing on cancer, sexual and reproductive health, workplace wellbeing and intimate partner violence.


Members noted the conclusions of the report anticipated gender-based health disparities had been identified in Enfield and multi-sector work was underway to address these and support women to live healthier for longer. Future work should be informed by the National Women’s Health Strategy.


Members recognised that the commitment to the Council Plan that was in place, however queried how would the Council do this?

ACTION: Dudu Sher-Arami, Public Health Director


Members expressed the view that the voluntary sector played a crucial role in the health and wellbeing of residents, especially those with little or no family nearby or whose English was a second language. They brought the community together, seeing some residents every day and helping to resolve their issues. The involvement of the Council and Members with the voluntary sector was also paramount in supporting local residents in the community and hearing what they had to say and the concerns they raised. The current method was not as productive as the previous method. Members asked Officers to explore community hubs could be developed.

ACTION: Dudu Sher-Arami, Public Health Director


In response to questions from Members regarding the availability of period and menstruation products in and at the food banks in the Borough, Officers undertook to check and advise that there was a good supply made available.

ACTION: Dudu Sher-Arami, Public Health Director


A further question regarding menstruation, particularly with regards to young girls, was the availability of the safe single sex spaces, which females could use without the presence of males. Officers undertook to feedback Members’ comments to the appropriate body.

ACTION: Dudu Sher-Arami, Public Health Director


Referring to the very low rates of breastfeeding in the Borough, Members stated they would like to see plans for the work to be carried out to increase and improve these rates. The Public Health Director confirmed that in Enfield, only 30% of babies were fully/partially breastfed at the 6-8 week visit in 2020/21, which was lower than England (49.3%). There were plans for a Hub Working Group starting imminently at the central hub provision to encourage breastfeeding continued to six or nine months. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended breastfeeding for six months to two years as a supplement to food.


Members indicated that they would like to be part of the Hub Working Group to encourage breastfeeding.

ACTION: Dudu  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5