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Life Expectancy

Question for Department of Health

UIN 38109, tabled on 23 May 2016

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.

Answered on

26 May 2016

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.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.