Issue - meetings


Meeting: 28/11/2023 - Health & Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel (Item 6)


To receive the report of the Executive Director – People / Director of Public Health, providing an overview of service developments and performance within the Enfield Health Visiting Service; an update on activity to improve breastfeeding rates among Enfield residents; and highlighting uptake of women’s health (breast and cervical) screening programmes and activity to increase uptake.

Additional documents:


Dudu Sher-Arami introduced the report of the Executive Director – People, which combined various topics at the request of the Panel for an overview of these services which were important for the future wellbeing of young people in the borough.


Since the last update to the Panel, the ICS had produced a strategy in respect of screening and early intervention for cancer.


Andrew Lawrence, Head of Commissioning – CYP & Public Health, summarised key points regarding Health Visiting, including a significant improvement in performance. Enfield tended to be better than or equal to the London average.


Gabriella Sarpong, Public Health Strategist and lead on infant feeding, summarised key points regarding Breastfeeding. Receipt and use of government grant funding in Enfield was highlighted. The NCL gap analysis had revealed areas for focus, and significant work was being done.


Dr Chad Byworth, Public Health Registrar, summarised key points regarding Women’s Health (Screening), noting though this was not directly commissioned by the local authority, it had an important role working with ICB colleagues. Important work was ongoing to improve uptake, with a strategy developed by the NCL Cancer Alliance.


Questions were invited from Members.


Cllr Anolue had an interest in promoting breastfeeding, and was a peer supporter, and had concerns about hard-to-reach women. The importance of developing a pathway and a more proactive approach, particularly before parents and babies left hospital, was stressed by officers. The new Infant Feeding Strategic and Training Lead post would oversee development of more long term plans and services.


Clarification was provided in respect to Health Visiting data, which was based on accurate monthly new birth data.


In respect of promotion of cancer screening, it was advised that the wide network of community and faith groups built up during the Covid-19 vaccination work had been extended to other health topics and there had been a lot of activity. In respect of access, the three breast screening sites had not changed pre and post the pandemic, but cervical screening was easier to access as it was able to be provided at GP surgeries. It was felt the balance was right. There had been a communications and social media campaign to promote screening but it was too early to tell the impact.


In response to the Chair raising the ‘excess weight’ data set out in the documents, the Director of Public Health suggested a more detailed paper could be brought to a meeting of the Panel.


The Panel AGREED:

1. To note the current arrangements for health visiting, the impact of COVID-19 and actions leading to recovery of service performance, and the financial context for future service provision.

2. To note the up-and-coming development regarding provision to support breastfeeding through the Children and Family Hubs.

3. To note that Enfield is, broadly, the best performing of the North Central London (NCL) boroughs with regards to cervical and breast screening uptake and the forthcoming programme of work by the NCL Cancer Alliance that aims to (1) reduce inequalities in uptake and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6