§ Mr. Ron Lewis
asked the Minister of Social Security what evidence is available to her about the growing problem of loneliness among older people; what approaches on the problem have been made to her Department; and if she will make a statement.
§ Miss Herbison
I am, of course, aware of the considerable volume of published material bearing on the problem of loneliness. There have been no special approaches to my Department on this. The problem is not of course particular to my Department but, in so far as loneliness is associated with financial need, officers visiting on behalf of the National Assistance Board check that old people living alone are in regular contact with relatives or friendly neighbours; where this is not the case, they try to put them into touch with clubs, or other voluntary bodies, who may be able to help.