A compassionate community project is cutting emergency hospital admissions, writes Penny Redwood, of Otley CLT.
A scheme aimed at tackling the connection between social isolation, loneliness and ill health has been shown to reduce hospital admissions by 17% with a reduction in costs by 21%.
A lot has been written recently about how chronic loneliness increases the risk of early death by more than 20%. This project was set up in 2014 by Health Connections Mendip, the community development service at Frome Medical Practice.
They developed a directory of volunteers, care providers, local charities and other groups who could provide a range of community care services from dog walking to attending to physical or emotional needs. They trained local people as Community Connectors to help people find the right service for them and they now have nearly 400 groups and organisations offering support, advice, companionship and creative activity. GP services are integrated into the system.