Austin Macauley 28 January 2016

Concerted effort needed to tackle loneliness, says LGA

Concerted effort needed to tackle loneliness, says LGA image

Loneliness among older people is putting huge pressure on local services and must be taken more seriously as a major public health issue, council leaders have warned.

With more than one million over 65s thought to be affected, a growing body of evidence suggests loneliness is leading to a rise in health and social care referrals.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the issue increases the risk of premature death by 30% and that GPs say they see between one and five lonely people every day.

The LGA has produced a report with Age UK and the Campaign to End Loneliness, Combating Loneliness, to offer guidance to councils.

It said examples of best practice across the country must become the norm. For example, a social prescribing scheme run by Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group enables GPs to spot the signs of loneliness and ‘prescribe’ support from voluntary and community services.

So far the initiative has led to positive change among 83% of participants and has reduced inpatient admissions by 21% and A&E attendances by 20%.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, LGA spokesperson for public health, said: ‘Council public health teams are taking action and reducing the need for health and care services in the future. The impact of loneliness can be devastating and costly – with consequences comparable to smoking and obesity.

‘This can be prevented with early intervention, which a number of councils are already successfully delivering in partnership with volunteer and community organisations.’

Marcus Rand, director of Campaign to End Loneliness, said: ‘Loneliness is a serious social and public health issue that must be urgently addressed. It is affecting the lives of a million older people in the UK on a daily basis.

‘Local authorities have a key role to play in providing effective policies and solutions on the ground and this new report is a much welcome tool to help deliver effective and practical support to those in need.’

A perfect storm for care homes image

A perfect storm for care homes

Iain MacBeath, strategic director, health and wellbeing at Bradford City Council, looks at the challenges facing the adult social care sector.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - SGO & Connected Person Assessment Team

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Special Guardianship Order (SGO) & Connected Person Assessment Team Chelmsford £30,906 - £42,254 Salary scale according to skills a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Refuse Driver (LGV Chargehand Driver)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22995 - £24258 per annum + plus contractual overtime and allowances
It is an exciting time in Waste and Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a opportunity to be part of a busy, successful team mak England, London, Greenwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Management Information Assistant

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,724 p.a. inc (pro rata)
The successful candidate will have knowledge of relevant systems and software used in Finance and Human Resources. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Traffic Signal and ITS Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£40,876.00 - £42,821.00 plus annual standby allowance of £2,562.84
You will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of our Urban Traffic Management and Control System. Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Finance Business Partner (GR7)

Birmingham City Council
£57,698 - £74,887
A role of this scale calls for an experienced Finance Business Partner with tried and tested skills. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue