New Government map of isolation in adults using social care

New Government data out today finds that the majority of adults using social care (57.7 per cent) in England are not getting the social contact they would like.

Public Health England has published the latest update to the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) data tool today [1]. The indicator which tracks social isolation in adult social care (1.18i) has found that between 2010 and 2011, well over half those questioned (57.7 per cent) were not getting as much social contact as they wanted.

This revelation comes on the back of comments made earlier this month by the Sectary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, who called loneliness among older people a ‘national shame’ – and other reports of harmful 15 minute social care visits.

The new data on social contact, which can also be mapped by each local authority, demonstrates the increasing need for loneliness and isolation to be given a greater priority as public health issues. Kate Jopling, Director for the Campaign to End Loneliness, says: “Adults using social care are some of those most at risk of suffering from loneliness and isolation. We know that being lonely and isolated can have a profound effect on our health and it is our duty to better serve these vulnerable people.

“These results make it clear that those responsible for providing local health and care services need to do more to tackle loneliness and isolation among their older populations and vulnerable service users.”

Loneliness and isolation are associated with poor mental, physical and emotional health, including increased rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cognitive decline and dementia. Socially isolated and lonely adults are more likely to undergo early admission into residential or nursing care.