LGA responds to Royal College of GPs call to tackle loneliness
24 May 2018 11:23 AM
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, responded to a call by Royal College of GPs Chairman Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard for GPs to be able to refer patients to social activities to help combat loneliness and for a national publicity campaign to highlight the condition
“Loneliness is a serious public health concern which studies suggest can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
“The potential of social prescribing to tackle loneliness is immense and is an idea whose time has come. By connecting people with local community services and activities we can improve the health and wellbeing of large numbers of people.
“Councils have various schemes and initiatives in place to tackle loneliness and work closely with voluntary organisations and faith groups to support vulnerable people in the community.
“But councils can only do so much. There needs to be greater public awareness of loneliness as a serious illness. We all need to be on the look-out for each other, such as checking on a neighbour, who could be a young mum without any family nearby, or an older person living alone.
“This could make a major difference and help tackle loneliness, which is placing an increasing burden on health and social care.”
National campaign needed to tackle loneliness 'epidemic', says RCGP