Purpose of Report
To provide the Executive with an opportunity to consider the final report of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee’s scrutiny review into social isolation, which set out draft recommendations based on evidence gathered and key outcomes highlighted as part of the review.
That the key findings and conclusions of the scrutiny review be actioned as necessary and fed into the development and formation of the Health and Wellbeing strand of the Council’s Reducing Inequality theme of its Vision 2025.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Reason for Decision
The Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee undertook a scrutiny review into social isolation, the scope of which was to investigate:
· how prevalent social isolation was in Lincoln and why it was occurring;
· what support was currently in place for people suffering from isolation;
· whether the current support was sufficient to address the issue of social isolation.
Representatives from a range of organisations delivering services and support across the city, and wider county, attended meetings of the Committee in order to contribute to the review and provide evidence which was used to formulate key findings and conclusions as set out in the report. Extracts of the evidence received from contributors to the review were attached at Appendix A of the report.
A summary of the main findings and conclusions was noted as follows:
· the Council could play a more active role in bringing organisations together to encourage and perhaps facilitate greater partnership working and sharing of information and good practice. This could include the promotion of services, events and activities available in communities and raising awareness of social isolation and loneliness;
· more could be done to promote the symptoms or characteristics associated with social isolation, as well as contact details of key organisations in order to facilitate the effective signposting of services;
· the issue of social isolation and loneliness should be highlighted to the Council’s staff and elected members, particularly those who come into contact with residents regularly as part of their day-to-day business in order that they can identify symptoms and understand what services or organisations to signpost people to;
· acknowledging those people unable to access online services or electronic communication, the Council should ensure that there was always an option to contact any of its services without the need to access the service online;
· a review should take place to ensure that the Council’s approach to responding to requests for holding community events included guidance and advice that was supportive and user-friendly;
· consideration should be given to ways in which the Government’s £2 million funding aimed at addressing loneliness could be promoted to those frontline organisations so that it could be effectively utilised in Lincoln. Further consideration should also be given to the availability of any other sources of external funding to support the issue of social isolation and loneliness in the City of Lincoln.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the Council, placed on record his thanks on behalf of the Executive to the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee for an excellence piece of work which he was pleased to see would feed into the Council’s Health and Wellbeing strand of the Reducing Inequality theme of its Vision 2025.