A new service for those aged over 65 who feel lonely in their daily life or have
difficulties keeping in touch with others is being offered to those living in Uist
Developed by NHS Western Isles, the new pilot scheme is known as ConnectingUists.
It provides a confidential referral to a person called a social navigator who can
assess their social needs and help with accessing support. This may often be through
helping them to become involved with their own local voluntary and community groups.
Martin Malcolm, NHS Western Isles head of public health intelligence, said: “Research
has long shown the social and health damage caused to individuals and communities
from loneliness and social isolation and it is greatly welcome that this is increasingly
being recognised among government and the NHS.
New service aims to tackle loneliness
23 February 2017
“I am very pleased therefore that we in the Western Isles are able to offer this
new ConnectingUists service to begin to tackle this debilitating condition particularly
among our older people who are most at risk.”
The scheme will initially be available in the Uists and Benbecula to test the new
approach which includes the use of information and communications technology where
If successful it may be offered across the rest fot he Western Isles.
Dr. Maggie Watts, NHS Western Isles director of public health, said: “There are many
additional benefits for older people getting involved in ConnectingUists.
“This includes improved mental health and wellbeing and increased access to social
supports and networks which can reduce the feelings of isolation many people can
feel. It can also help improve self-confidence and help people become more involved
in their own community, often learning a new skill.”