Enfield’s first Joint Health and Wellbeing strategy, as developed and agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board, is reaching the end of its planned duration. This means a new strategy is required, setting out how partners will work together to improve the health and wellbeing of all Enfield residents and reduce health inequalities.
Today, Healthwatch Enfield launches its latest report, ‘Developing a new Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Enfield’, presenting key decision-makers with evidence to support them in delivering a vision of ‘making the healthy choice the first choice for everyone in Enfield’.
Through engaging and working with more than 150 local residents, at Healthwatch Enfield we heard that:
- eating more healthily
- doing more physical exercise
- having positive mental health, including reducing social isolation
should form the focus of the new Health and Wellbeing strategy for Enfield.
A comprehensive, early years or childhood education programme to normalise healthy lifestyles within communities should underpin the above.
Feedback gathered by Healthwatch Enfield shows that local people understand what they can do towards improving their own health and that, in some instances, they need to be empowered and enabled to do this. In addition, Enfield residents seem to advocate a community approach that draws in a wider partnership including employers, supermarkets, cafes, gyms, parks, a range of community activities and social prescription as a way of making healthy choices, easy choices. Locally, there is a strong understanding of ‘place’ and of the challenges in different parts of the borough as well as the need to address these through committed leadership.
By involving Enfield residents in discussions, Healthwatch Enfield was also able to facilitate a process of early co-design of activities that would enable individuals to make positive lifestyle changes to eat more healthily, to take part in more physical activity and to have good mental health. With a variety of ideas on offer, including ‘car free days’, gym buddy systems, ‘healthy food ratings’ and ‘happy to talk’ tables, members of Enfield’s Health and Wellbeing Board have a unique opportunity to build on the co-design process undertaken to date to devise actions and initiatives owned and delivered with local people.