One Community has been running a Visiting Scheme since 2015 in Eastleigh and Fareham, where volunteers are recruited to visit isolated older people, and people who find it difficult to get out, to provide them with companionship. Four trainee GPs from Health Education Wessex joined with Hayley Hamlett, the scheme coordinator, to focus on the prospective implementation of a loneliness assessment tool to demonstrate the value of the scheme with the aim of enhancing GP referral rates through a demonstration of the value of the Visiting Scheme.
Why measure loneliness?
- Because of the lack of good quality evidence on current service interventions tackling loneliness and isolation.
- To demonstrate how the service is having a positive impact on people using “hard evidence”.
- To increase the potential of securing future funding.
Key objectives of the work:
- Identification and implementation of loneliness assessment tool (LAT).
- Integration of tool into One Community proforma and documentation.
- Training and updating volunteers.
- Key performance indicators to be identified, charted and analysed.
- Analyses of the referral pathway.
Results will be available during Spring 2018.
Pictured above are Hayley Hamlett with Jason Gupta and Tinashe Hwara at the presentation of their study at a Public Health and Primary Care Presentation Day on 14 December, at Southern House, Otterbourne.