Agenda and draft minutes

Select Committee - Loneliness and Social Isolation - Wednesday, 19th September, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Wantsum Room, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Gaetano Romagnuolo  03000 416624

Note No. Item

14:00 - 15:15


Dr Kellie Payne (Research and Policy Manager, Campaign to End Loneliness) pdf icon PDF 45 KB

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The Chair welcomed the guest to the committee and a short introduction was given by Members.


Q – Please introduced yourself and offer an outline of the Campaign to End Loneliness and its main objectives?


Dr Kellie Payne, Research and Policy Manager, Campaign to End Loneliness introduced herself to the committee. She said that the Campaign to End Loneliness which was launched in 2011 had limited resources with one Director and a team of three, however, due to the interjection of the Big Lottery Fund in 2017, the team was able to expand its resources and now had a team of fourteen with specialist functions i.e. social media. Initially, due to limited staffing the campaign focused primarily on service providers and academics, however, the Big Lottery Fund combined with increased capacity has allowed the campaign to change its ambitions and placed greater focus on businesses, public engagement, behavioural change, promoting social connections and tackling the stigma of loneliness. Campaign to End Loneliness is supported by Independent Age UK who provide the Human Resources side of the businesses, however the Big Lottery Fund and donations help to support the on-going work of the campaign. Dr Payne also informed the Committee that the Big Lottery Fund allowed the team to employ Campaign Manager’s who were based in Belfast, the United Kingdom, West Wales and Glasgow, each of which had specific areas of focus depending on what part of the nation they were based.


Q – Who is impacted by loneliness and social isolation? What is the prevalence of loneliness in the country?


With regards to prevalence Dr Kellie Payne said that the most recent statistics within the Jo Cox Commission identified that over 9 million adults were often or always lonely, 4 million of those were older adults with 10% of those falling within the chronically lonely category, equating to 1.2 million. Those who are chronically lonely suffered from loneliness all of the time. Dr Payne said that it was important to recognise that everyone experienced loneliness at a point in their life as was an inevitable part of the human condition, however, it is those who suffer from chronic loneliness that required greater focus. One of the key factors that The Campaign to End Loneliness lobbied against was the cost to the health and social care system. Evidence showed that if loneliness was alleviated, it increased independent living and therefore reduced the strain on the Health Care System. Three out of four GPs said that they would generally see between 1 and 5 people a day because they were lonely. Dr Payne said that there was a report done by the Social Finance Commission in 2016 which estimated that the cost associated with patients who attend GPs and A&E’s in relation to loneliness was £12,000 per person. Work was being carried out in conjunction with the London School of Economics (LSE) to look at the financial impact on the heath and social care system, however Dr Payne reminded the Committee  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

15:30 - 16:45


Olivia Field (Policy and Engagement Manager - Loneliness and Social Isolation, British Red Cross) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

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Olivia Field (Policy and Engagement Manager – Loneliness and Social Isolation, British Red Cross) and Kat Radlett (Policy & Advocacy Officer, British Red Cross) were in attendance. 

The Chair welcomed the guests to the Committee. Olivia began by explaining the British Red Cross (BRC)’s involvement with the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness (JCC). The BRC was one of thirteen partners on the JCC.  The BRC set up a Loneliness Action Group in partnership with the Co-op to follow up on the recommendations from the JCC. The action group included representatives from 50 organisation including businesses, charity, local government, Royal Colleges, NHS and Public Health England.

Olivia reported that through its work, the BRC, saw the impact of loneliness on the people it supported. She noted that the BRC was the largest provider of support to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK; it provided detention support, family reunions and an international family tracing service. The BRC also provided support to patients’ leaving hospital to enable them to regain confidence and independence and prevent readmission into hospital. She also highlighted the BRC and Co-op’s  new Community Connector service which was in operation in Thanet. She stated that the Co-op was keen to work with the BRC to tackle loneliness as its staff were noticing people coming into its shops for social interaction.

Olivia proceeded to give a presentation, attached as a supplement, which covered national action to address loneliness and Community Connectors. She explained that the JCC was set up by Jo Cox prior to her murder in 2016 with Seema Kennedy MP as a cross party group. Thirteen organisations, which supported people who Jo Cox had identified at the risk of loneliness, came together through the JCC to start a national conversation about loneliness. The JCC work culminated in a call to action published in December 2017 which included a number of recommendations to government:

§  UK wide strategy for loneliness (accepted by Government and due to be published in October 2018)

§  nominated lead Minister to drive action on loneliness across Government (accepted by Government with the appointment of Tracey Crouch as new ministerial lead for loneliness and the creation of a cross-government team of civil servants and cross-ministerial group)

§  development of the current Family Test to become a Family and Relationships Test (not accepted by Government)

§  development of a national indicator on loneliness and annual reporting (accepted by Government. A report from a technical group made up of the Office for National Statistics, academic and charity partners regarding a national indicator was expected in October. JCC to publish a report annually based on ONS data.)

§  Easy-to-understand messages, similar to five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day, to help individuals connect with others and avoid loneliness (not accepted by Government)

§  Government to create an innovation and spread fund (accepted by Government who announced £20 million of new investment).

With regards to Community Connectors, Olivia explained that the service provided one-to-one person centre support.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Appendix pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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