Members of the public have been urged to keep an eye on elderly friends and neighbours over the Christmas period. It is hoped that good neighbourliness of this kind could help ease pressures on hospital A&E departments.
It has been found that loneliness and social isolation can increase the risk of emergency hospital admissions. A recent study, based in south west England, discovered that 45% of elderly emergency admissions patients described themselves as socially isolated (self-reported loneliness).
“Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director for Acute Care, said studies show people left on their own over the festive period are more likely to end up in A&E with worse problems”.
Top urgent care doctor: Impact of loneliness at Christmas causes spike in A&E numbers. London: NHS England, December 23rd 2014.
Brimelow, A. (2014). Tackle loneliness to curb A&E pressures – NHS says. London: BBC Health News, December 23rd 2014.
This also relates to:
Osterloh, M. (2014). Defeating loneliness this Christmas. London [Online]: Department of Health, December 12th 2014.
Possibly also of interest:
Roberts, M. (2014). Lonely elderly flood Silver Line helpline with calls. London: BBC Health News, November 25th 2014.