Loneliness

Thank you for contacting me about loneliness.
 
I believe that we all have a responsibility at an individual, family, and community level to identify people with care needs such as loneliness, and provide support to improve their health and wellbeing. There is no single solution that can tackle loneliness and I think that it is therefore useful to have a range of solutions. 
 
Local commissioners are responsible for ensuring that health services match the needs of the population. From 2012, local authorities are now expected to identify areas where older people suffer most acutely from loneliness to allow them to tackle the growing problem of social isolation and its harmful effects.
 
The Department of Health has supported the development of a 'digital toolkit' for local commissioners, developed by the Campaign to End Loneliness, to support them in understanding and commissioning services to tackle loneliness and social isolation in their communities.
 
We also funded the Social Care Institute for Excellence to develop and run the Prevention Library, which includes examples of how to prevent, reduce or delay people's care and support needs from deteriorating. Local authorities can learn from emerging practice, and exchange ideas and experience of the impact that information, advice and befriending services can have on tackling loneliness.
 
We are of course also integrating and improving health and social care to protect people at every stage of their lives. Local authorities will be given greater powers so they can raise revenue for adult social care, supported by an extra £1.5 billion and an improved Better Care Fund.
 
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.