Social exclusion and isolation

Introduction

Social exclusion is when a person lacks access to resources (social, public economic), inability to participate (economic, social, education, political) and exclusion from a good quality of life. Social isolation is a lack of contact with society.

Social exclusion and isolation are associated with a higher risk of death and poor health; this is regardless of whether a person feels ‘lonely’. An extensive review in 2010 found a 50% increased likelihood for survival in those with strong social networks independent of sex, age, initial condition and cause of death.

Social Isolation is not exclusive to a particular population, but risk factors include older age, those suffering mental illness, physical disability and carers. The problem is likely to increase as the Bracknell Forest population is expected to have increasing numbers of people with one or more risk factors for isolation.

Facts, figures and trends

The national Adult Social Care User Experience survey was sent to a proportion of Bracknell Forest’s Service Users in 2013. One of the questions in the survey asked people whether they had as much social contact as they wanted. Figure 1 shows the response rate for those aged 65 and over, and suggests that older people in Bracknell Forest feel more isolated than the national average. Despite this, a much larger percentage of people believe that care and support services improve social contact when compared to the national average (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Response to Adult Social Care User Experience Survey about social contact (2013)

Social situation in those aged 65 and over

Source: National Adult Social Care Information System

Figure 2: Response to Adult Social Care User Experience Survey question – “Do care and support services help to improve your contact with people?” (2013)

Do care and support services help improve contact with people

Source: National Adult Social Care Information System

National & local strategies (current best practices)

The following links give an overview of the topic:

Preventing loneliness and social isolation: interventions and outcomes – Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Isolation and loneliness toolkit - Campaign to end loneliness.

What is this telling us?

People are isolated and excluded from society for different reasons. Poor health can be both the outcome and cause of isolation and exclusion. Those people who are most at risk are predicted to increase and therefore we can expect isolation to increase.

What are the key inequalities?

Certain groups of people are at far higher risk than others. This includes older people, those suffering mental illness, physical disability and carers.

What are the unmet needs/ service gaps?

Early interventions are required to stop people falling into isolation, which should aim to compliment reactive services such as befriending schemes.

Recommendations for consideration by other key organisations

The collection of more robust data on the topic is encouraged.

Exploring the potential of ways to indentify and work with those at risk of isolation would be useful. To work in partnership with local voluntary/community organisation and services (such as the fire services home safety fire checks) to achieve better social outcomes for risk populations.

Reducing loneliness, isolation and exclusion will not only have physical health benefits but will also improve the quality of many people’s lives and therefore likely to reduce the mental health disease burden. 

 

Email to report a broken link on this page

  • Bracknell Forest ProfileThis section contains the Bracknell Forest ward profiles and demographics.You are here
  • Starting WellThis section contains information on maternity and ages 0-4 years.You are here
  • Developing WellThis section contains information on young people's health and wellbeing.You are here
  • Living & Working WellThis section contains information on adult health conditions and lifestyle choices.You are here
  • Ageing WellThis section contains information on older people's health and wellbeing.You are here
  • People & PlacesThis section contains information on the wider determinants of health.You are here