Loneliness is a common problem among older people – and it appears many are turning to their GP for help. New research suggests that thousands of individuals over the age of 65 are visiting their GP each year because they are lonely.
The GPs are becoming for many elderly and lonely people the front line for making contact and seeking help.
We know that loneliness has a devastating impact on health, and clearly it also puts a strain on GP and NHS resources:. This presents a clear set of challenges to GPs, commissioners, and service providers.
Not only do GPs need to communicate better, (A study in Holland showed that there are GPs who never ask patients about loneliness. Others mostly raise the topic indirectly), but there also has to be a network to support GPs in their work with the elderly.
This requires a level of co-ordination that involves the voluntary sector and crucially with local government playing a central role.
In this seminar we are going to look at the front line of the GP in combatting loneliness amongst the elderly, the co-ordination needed and the central role of local government in providing that.
We will also look at a number of case studies of good practice where different co-ordination models have been successful and also discuss what else needs to be done.
Participants of this workshop will gain:
- An understanding of the causes of loneliness and social isolation
- How we define loneliness and social isolation
- The impact of loneliness on the individual
- The impact of loneliness on GPs
- The use of social prescribing and what that means
- The need For a Coordinating Network
- The role of the local authority in enabling and coordinating
- Timely feedback and next steps
The morning session will be focused on defining social isolation and its impact on older people. We will look at how the GP is in the front line of combating loneliness amongst the elderly. We will also look at the importance of creating a network to make social prescribing effective and the role of the local authority in coordinating such a network.
09:30 Registration & Refreshments
10:00 Introduction and overview: Francis Sealey, GlobalNet21
10:15 Loneliness & Social Isolation – The Problem in Perspective: Ingrid Koehler, LGiU
10:35 Questions to Speaker
10:50 The GP, Social Prescribing & Support Networks: Rachel Hughes, Social Action for Health
11:10 Broadening The Scope Of Social Prescription & Involving The Arts: Charlie Blowers London Playback Theatre
11:30 Questions to speakers
11:50 Open Session – Discussion Around Attendees Experience and Ideas
The afternoon session will look a number of case studies of good practice and provide time for discussion about attendee’s own experiences and how they might apply what they have learnt in the above sessions to their own areas.
12:50 Overview of Afternoon: Francis Sealey, GlobalNet21
13:00 Speaker – Introduction to Case Studies
13:20 Case Study 1: Social Action for Health
13:40 Case Study 2: East Herts District Council
14:00 Case Study 3: Gateway Family Services
14:20 Questions to Speakers
14:40 Open Session or Working groups
15:20 Feedback from Groups
15:35 Feedback on Day
* This programme was correct at the time of publication but may be altered to reflect speaker changes that are beyond our control.