Social isolation and loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness are pressing and difficult public health issues increasingly affecting both individuals and communities. Tens of thousands of households throughout Lancashire-12 are estimated to be directly affected by social isolation and loneliness, causing poor health and wellbeing, and reduced life expectancy. This has a potential cost to health and social care of up to hundreds of millions of pounds annually across the county. Therefore we can no longer afford to ignore this issue or adopt a fragmented approach to dealing with it.

By better understanding and tackling social isolation and loneliness systematically at a local level, partner organisations and people working across Lancashire-12 can enable people to live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives, while reducing pressure on already overstretched health and social care systems.

Our Hidden from view: tackling social isolation and loneliness in Lancashire report and toolkit (PDF 4 MB) aims to provide practical information and advice on understanding and addressing social isolation and loneliness, for local partner organisations and their employees in Lancashire-12. It is aimed at a range of people, including professionals and those working and volunteering in public and third sector organisations, who work with Lancashire's population.


The purpose of the report is to provide motivation, information and ideas necessary for success – whilst not being too prescriptive in the structure and process used. We have therefore provided a vision and model of a joined up local system to tackle social isolation and loneliness, together with pointers on an approach to achieve this, with key principles also included. The key recommendations are outlined below and full details can be found in chapter 6 of the report.

All partners at a local level should aim to embed thinking about issues relating to social isolation and loneliness in a deliberate and systematic way. 

Partners should come together around the issue of social isolation and loneliness in appropriate localities and sub-localities (possibly working at multiple geographic levels, such as clinical commissioning group, district, town and parish councils). 

Consideration is given to who is best placed to take a lead on this work, and whether to appoint a specific project manager and/or group. If a project approach is taken, consider how this is then going to be mainstreamed. 

An initial stocktake of both needs and assets relating to social isolation and loneliness is appropriate, which can be informed by modelling (see dashboard) and local intelligence on the ground. 

Further information and evidence collected as part of this partnership project is presented in separate documents available below. For any queries regarding this page and its content please contact

Further data and analysis

Burnley loneliness and social isolation event (PDF 187 KB)

Checklist for groups (PDF 506 KB)

Fylde stakeholder event notes (PDF 480 KB)

Guide for individuals (PDF 445 KB)

Lancaster stakeholder event (PDF 447 KB)

Methodology and results tables (PDF 415 KB)

Mosaic types profiles (PDF 938 KB)

One-page guide for individuals (PDF 148 KB)

SIL measurement and assessment (PDF 291 KB)

Social isolation data download (XLSX 16 KB)

Workshop Chorley and South Ribble and Preston (PDF 199 KB)

Workshop West Lancashire (PDF 204 KB)

Page updated November 2016