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countyhallstreetlevelResearch into social isolation and loneliness carried out by the Isle of Wight Council’s public health team has been recognised at a major national conference.

The research was carried out in partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences at Southampton University – and was selected from among 300 submissions on the subject for a presentation at Public Health England’s recent annual conference at Warwick University.

The two-day conference was attended by around 1,400 national and international delegates working in public health.

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The joint Isle of Wight/Southampton project was one of three submissions chosen for the session titled: ‘Addressing social isolation and loneliness: key drivers for population health and wellbeing.’

The presentation was given by Chad Oatley, research co-ordinator from the council’s public health team, and Elizabeth James from the University of Southampton. Chad said:

“Our research has been focused on a ‘social networks’ approach to identifying and addressing isolation, loneliness and inactivity in older people with multiple long-term conditions.

“As a result of the presentation, the head for mental health and wellbeing in Public Health England, and a doctor within the field of behaviour change at Public Health England want to be further involved within our research.”

Executive member for public protection, Councillor Phil Jordan, said:

“This is deserved recognition for the excellent but often unsung work carried out in the field of public health on the Island.

“It has particular relevance to the Island because of the very real issues faced here in relation to social isolation and loneliness among older people.

“It also demonstrates the value of forming key research partnerships with academic institutions such as the University of Southampton in expanding the excellence and expertise of public health here on the Island.”

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