To receive a report from Tessa Lindfield, Director of Public Health and Glenn Stewart, Assistant Director of Public Health.
Tessa Lindfield, Director of Public Health introduced this report and highlighted the following:
· Public health has advocated for prevention and specifically work to tackle health inequalities for many years. Whilst there is a very strong association with the Indices of Multiple Deprivation and health this is not the only factor. There can also be patterns of ill health within communities (e.g. between people with different ethnicities, men vs women).
· Traditionally, life expectancy has been used to demonstrate health inequality, but now the focus is more on healthy life expectancy (the number of years a person can expect to live in good health). The gap between people who live in areas of higher and lower deprivation is bigger when looking at these figures and the years living in poor health will be those when we make greater use of health services.
· Variations in health are being reviewed for best case scenarios and to reduce variations.
· The work of the health and care system to improve health and reduce health inequalities is overseen by the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB).
· The HWB has 3 current priorities; best start in life, obesity and mental health resilience with inequality as a focus throughout.
· The agenda paper provided examples of work in place to help tackle inequality to give a flavour of the breadth and depth of programmes running.
The following questions/ issues were raised:
· Members noted that lifestyle is a big factor and affluent areas are affected.
· Members were concerned at the high numbers in Enfield with undiagnosed hypertension. They were advised that this is easily missed as it is non symptomatic. The paper detailed the various work in place on this issue. In addition to this the NHS Health Check is a free universal check-up offered every 5 years to assess your risk of heart disease and stroke to those aged between 40 and 74 years old. Stroke is the most common disabler in adults. Blood pressure is treatable and is a particular risk for stroke
· SEREN, the health kiosk is located in the foyer and is the most used machine in the borough. A Health Kiosk is also in all GP practices with further machines to be ordered which will be mobile. Members felt it would be helpful if these machines were signposted to increase awareness of them and their purpose.
· Members were advised that in Canada 65% of residents know what their blood pressure is, part of this has been the success of a programme to know your numbers.
· A member felt that there might be large numbers of people who might not be registered with a doctor particularly in Chase Ward and that it was difficult to engage with those who do not engage with health professionals, suggestions were made around the machines being put into pharmacies and supermarkets
Q: Given the high number of schools involved in the fluoride Programme, what work is done to educate parents?
A: This is just one element of work on tooth decay. Health Visitors and Children Centres work more broadly on education for parents. The Fluoride Varnish Programme is preventative and is an evidence based way of tackling our higher than average rates of tooth decay in children.