Lets talk about social isolation and loneliness in Gloucestershire

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Summary of report content

Gloucestershire’s Health and Wellbeing Board have identified social isolation as an area that needs attention, so Healthwatch Gloucestershire sought to understand what social isolation and loneliness means for people living in Gloucestershire.

They undertook a public engagement campaign from 22 March to 21 April 2021, including a survey, focus groups and interviews. In total they spoke to 73 people.   

Most people said that they were lonely almost all of the time, frequently or sometimes. Healthwatch identified the Covid-19 pandemic, being single, widowed or divorced, and/or having a long-term health condition, as key factors of loneliness.

Most respondents said there aren’t any opportunities to meet new people in their local area, however, many identified that there are already groups that offer the chance to connect with others. Some people highlighted issues in attending these groups including accessibility, poor transport, and a lack of groups outside of working hours.

 Some respondents identified problems with their housing providers and inadequate financial support as causes of isolation and/or loneliness.

Many people told us they were dissatisfied with their current relationships, and some told us they have no friends in Gloucestershire (yet have friends elsewhere). Many people expressed that they would find it difficult to ask for help, with some identifying the cause as feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed.

The report looks at initiatives elsewhere in the country to tackle social isolation and loneliness.

The report concludes with 4 recommendations to tackle social isolation.

The report contains responses from providers.

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General details

Report title 
Lets talk about social isolation and loneliness in Gloucestershire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 21 September, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 22 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 21 April, 2021
Key themes 
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.