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  • Run by Sutton Primary Care Networks.
  • Those who are housebound or socially isolated often suffer from loneliness and have unmet care needs, high mortality and can struggle with access to proactive care.
  • This project will involve developing a virtual space that can empower people who are lonely, create peer support networks and enable social interaction.
  • Running from September 2023 to July 2024, with potential further funding to pilot the idea.

Evidence suggests that 10 to 15 per cent of the population could be suffering from loneliness, and the World Health Organization has declared loneliness as a pressing global health threat. Being housebound or isolated has a significant impact on physical and mental health. 

This project is looking to define loneliness as a condition which needs to be focused on and to look at a whole system approach to loneliness. It will use technology in an innovative way to bridge the gap, helping lonely people feel more connected and encouraging them to enter the wider physical world regardless of their social, physical and mental health needs.

The project will involve developing a creative, vibrant and effortless virtual space that brings people together because of their interests or curiosity to learn about new or existing interests. Those delivering online sessions will be highly skilled in captivating audiences, involving them and making them feel part of a community. Content will be user driven and may include film clubs, mindfulness sessions and reminiscence of old popular culture.

There will also be a proactive care element to the project, with a focus on a subset of the target population – those with diabetes. This will involve using flash glucose monitoring to review blood sugar levels by a clinician, to help feed back to the patient about adjusting their medication and lifestyle changes effectively.

During phase 2 (testing ideas) of the project, three population groups will be assessed in their use of the platform: housebound lonely patients with recent A&E activity; users from a domestic violence refuge, and diabetic patients. The testing will involve gaining feedback on the functionality of the platform, and the suitability and delivery of the content. 

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Jagdish Kumar, Head of New Business, Sutton Primary Networks.

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