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Healthwatch Gloucestershire

Project case study (2021-2022)

Understanding social isolation and loneliness in Gloucestershire

Understanding social isolation and loneliness in Gloucestershire

Healthwatch Gloucestershire explored local experiences of loneliness and isolation by conducting a public engagement campaign, the team also held a creative workshop/focus group with members of the Gloucestershire Carers Hub. Findings were shared with local health and care providers through a report.

Widespread research highlights the detrimental effect of loneliness on people’s health.  Social isolation is as an issue for many people in our local communities and this was intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tackling social isolation and loneliness in the community and across the health and care system is a priority in Gloucestershire and nationally, including in the NHS which is working towards a locality-based approach that links services and communities.

In spring 2021, we investigated local people’s experiences of social isolation and loneliness, and researched initiatives from across the country that are working to tackle loneliness and social isolation through voluntary and community services and the wider health and care system.

We shared our findings with local health and care partners so that they can learn from local people about what it feels like to be lonely and isolated, and what support people would like but may not be feel comfortable asking for.  We presented a range of ideas to help develop and improve support for those who feel lonely and isolated in Gloucestershire.

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Watch our video to see what people told us:

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“We want Gloucestershire to be a county where the importance of our social infrastructure to improve connectivity and community cohesion is understood and acted upon, and in which loneliness and social isolation are recognised openly as something likely to affect us all…This report highlights so many great examples of ways to achieve this and we’re lucky there is already a wide variety of initiatives available closer to home.”

Jo Underwood

Transformation Programme Director (Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group/One Gloucestershire)

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