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.
Watch our video to see what people told us: