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Essex CC needs to tackle loneliness in the county - Lib Dems

September 17, 2018 8:07 AM

Cllr David KendallEssex County Council has been asked about plans to tackle the problem of loneliness across the County. Lib Dem Councillor David Kendall (Brentwood South) asked the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care what new initiatives are planned.

Reply from Leader of the Council

'People of all ages are impacted by loneliness and isolation, but this is particularly evident in older people, young parents and people with mental health issues or with disabilities. Social isolation has been shown to impact more on risk of death than AN8 blood pressure, being overweight or moderate smoking. As such I fully recognise the absolute need to address this and the new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy strongly advocates for this.

With partners from the voluntary sector and statutory partners we have established a Social Isolation and Loneliness Forum which looks at how we can tackle this across Essex.

Work has involved four linked approaches: identifying people; helping people understand what support is available; ensuring that support is available; and a planned campaign to raise awareness and stimulate action. We have completed a period of voluntary and community sector-led mapping of current support available and worked with CCGs to look at the role of GPs amongst others play in identifying lonely and isolated people.

We have also developed and funded a service to help those identified to find a local solution. Additionally, Essex County Council are starting to work with local place-based Facebook administrators to understand the opportunity of these groups as a focus for local action. At the inaugural meeting of these administrators, loneliness was again identified as a key issue impacting on their places and we will be looking at how we can best work with them to tackle this issue in their communities.

We believe that we can still do this work better. We will work with partners to devise a new model of community support which we will invest in to expand our reach and expand local capability to support loneliness and isolation and I'd welcome each member's input into this.'