Loneliness in old age is a major health issue

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow will say that loneliness among older people is a major health issue and the government should do more to tackle the problem when he speaks at the Campaign to End Loneliness Research conference and the launch of Toolkit for Health and Wellbeing Boards today (10 July).

Funded by the Department of Health, the Toolkit is a new online aid and has been designed to highlight current health research into the area and includes case studies, factsheets, briefing notes and checklists.

It is hoped the initiative will help councils and local health organisations identify and prioritise older people most at risk of loneliness.

Mr Burstow - who is also the Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park - said: "Loneliness can have a significant impact on people's health. Yet, unlike risks such as alcohol and obesity, it is still out of sight."

He urged society as a whole to do more in the fight against the issue, noting too many older people are left isolated and need to stay connected to others.