A review of health and wellbeing boards

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On 19th June 2013, new research was published looking into 152 health and wellbeing boards, identifying their early progress in tackling the problems of loneliness and social isolation in local areas.  The information consists of three parts:

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Introduction: Ignoring the health risks? A review of health and wellbeing boards

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Part 1: Health and wellbeing board uptake of Campaign messages

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Part 2: Loneliness Harms Health: 1 Year on

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In November 2013 this work was updated to capture board who had published their strategies later then June 2013. The updated report also included a number of case studies of good practice: ‘Still Ignoring the Health Risks?

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Key findings from the research –

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  • 76 of the 147 published Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWS) had at least acknowledged loneliness and/or isolation as serious issues
  • 11 of these 76 JHWSs can be described as reaching a gold standard – These strategies commit to measurable actions and/or targets to address loneliness in older age or for all ages
  • Encouragingly, the number of health and wellbeing boards that are yet to recognise that loneliness and/or isolation are issues has fallen to 49 per cent from 53 per cent: a four per cent improvement since the last report.
Background to the review
Following the establishment of 152 health and wellbeing boards across England in April 2012, The Campaign to End Loneliness launched Loneliness Harms Health.  This is a campaign that supports people to lobby their local board to commit to tackling loneliness through their Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Launched at the Campaign’s Connect + Act event on June 19th 2013, the review examines the 128 Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies that have been published to assess the impact of Loneliness Harms Health and the uptake of Campaign messages.  Quantitative data is supported by interviews and case studies from across England. 

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Is your board taking action on loneliness?  If not, click here to write to your local newspaper to highlight the issue