Article Abstract

The detrimental impact of social isolation on the patient presenting to the Emergency Department

Authors: Debkumar Chowdhury

Abstract

There has been an increase in the number of attendances of patients to the Emergency department in the United Kingdom. This is compounded with rising costs of healthcare with limited resources. Social isolation and loneliness has significant impact on our patient’s wellbeing and is becoming a health crisis. Social isolation has a direct impact on physical health including the hastening the development of vascular disease. The predominant group identified as being socially isolated tend to be the elderly population. Patients with underlying mental health problems have also been identified as being at high risk of social isolation Interventions done at the community level may reduce the number of hospital presentations due to social isolation and reduce the rate of development of disease with improvement in general wellbeing. Improving social cohesion may reduce the impact of social isolation and loneliness experienced by a large proportion of our patients. Local government authority are placed to liaise with primary healthcare, mental health care and eventually secondary health care to tackle this underlying issue.