Health on the AgendaMay is the anniversary of the great Florence Nightingale’s birth and coincidentally this year sees huge changes in the way healthcare is delivered, with local authorities such as Enfield Council taking on more responsibility for the health of local people than it has had for 35 years.
I very much welcome these new arrangements because I am passionate about facing up to the health challenges Enfield faces, in particular our high childhood obesity rates and the large gaps in life expectancy between the east and west of our borough. Despite these challenges, I believe Enfield Council is uniquely placed to deal with these important issues.
That is because as a co-ordinating council, we will be able to bring together and help to focus the efforts of a wider range of organisations and partners on the massively important health issues we face - and which should have been addressed many years ago.
What would Florence have made of this? She of course rejected the life set out for her of marriage and family to pursue a career in nursing, and then went on to change the face of medicine by challenging how sanitation and infection was viewed.
We know this won't be easy. As a council we face the challenge of balancing ever tighter controls on our purse strings with issues such as an ageing population with increasing health needs.
Our borough is also welcoming the creation of Healthwatch Enfield, an independent body which is responsible for championing the rights of patients using health care services and representing the views of local people to help them influence and improve local medical and care services for all of us.
Healthwatch Enfield will be an important step forward in giving everyone in Enfield who uses healthcare services, especially our most vulnerable people, the opportunity to have their voice and views heard by those in positions of authority.
Just as Florence Nightingale saw great changes in health provision in her time, so do we today. Enfield Council has a unique opportunity to tackle the inequalities in healthcare amongst our population despite having such limited funds to work with.
Enfield Council will continue to run successful public health campaigns which tackle obesity, prevent smoking, urge people to reduce alcohol consumption and substance misuse programmes and encourage people to eat well and become fit.
We will also work with GPs and our other health and social care partners to deliver services to residents that ensure fair access to health services and make strides towards ensuring you all have the same life expectancy
We are proud to be entrusted with the public health of our citizens, and will do all we can to encourage healthy living in the borough.
Leader Enfield Council
This page was last updated on 08-May-2013.