The first cross-government strategy to tackle loneliness recommends more emphasis on social prescribing, whereby – by 2023 – GPs in England will be able to refer lonely patients to community activities, voluntary services and other community infrastructure services; such as postal delivery workers checking-up on isolated people during their rounds.
“Three quarters of GPs surveyed have said they are seeing between one and five people a day suffering with loneliness, which is linked to a range of damaging health impacts, like heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s Disease. Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month”.
Social prescriptions (also known as community referrals) permit GPs to refer patients experiencing loneliness to community workers for tailored support. It is envisaged that such approaches will improve population health and wellbeing, without of defaulting to more expensive medical interventions.
Dance lessons for the lonely – on the NHS. London: BBC Health News, October 15th 2018.
PM launches Government’s first loneliness strategy. [Online]: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Office for Civil Society [and] Department of Health and Social Care, October 15th 2018.
This relates to:
A connected society. A strategy for tackling loneliness: laying the foundations for change. London: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, October 2018.