Life Expectancy

Department of Health written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with medical organisations on addressing the effect of (a) loneliness and (b) broken sleep on longevity.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with medical organisations to discuss a wide range of issues, including loneliness and how feeling lonely can have a significant impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. The Secretary of State addressed this issue in a keynote speech he made in 2013 at the National Children and Adult Services Annual Conference. The text of the speech is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-forgotten-million

Evidence is still limited for effective interventions which address loneliness. Public Health England’s (PHE) Behavioural Insights Team in collaboration with local government, clinical commissioning groups, general practitioners (GPs), and the third sector have designed a low cost, scalable and evidence-informed intervention. This helps to identify older people in primary care who are at risk of social isolation and loneliness and support them through services that draw on the best available evidence of ‘what works’. PHE will pilot this intervention, engaging GPs.

There have been no discussions held with medical organisations on the effect of broken sleep on longevity.

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