Dr Helen Kingston, from Frome, is a pioneering GP who recognised the impact loneliness was having on the physical health of her patients and set up the ‘Compassionate Frome’ project in 2013 as a result.
In partnership with ‘Frome Medical Practice’ and ‘Health Connections Mendip’, Helen has created a service directory of over 400 local care providers and volunteers to help people reconnect with their community. Services include helping with shopping and dog-walking, exercise classes and choir practice. Studies have not only shown a 17% drop in emergency admissions in the town, but also a fall in the cost of admissions by 21%. Helen is now working to introduce the model to other areas of Somerset and Wales.