7th June 2018

ABC News – Australia   Matter Of Fact with Stan Grant

Electronic Link:   https://iview.abc.net.au/programs/matter-of-fact-with-stan-grant#pageloaded

Compassionate Communities :   How can we better combat loneliness in elderly communities?     Presented by Stan Grant.

(Broadcast 9:00pm Thu 7 Jun 2018. Published 22 hours ago, available until 9:45pm on 21 Jun 2018.)


Swedish STV - programme on loneliness and the Frome Model (English included)  Korrespondenterna - Ensamhetens epidemi.   Electronic Link ->




9 minute film on Health Connections Mendip:    https://vimeo.com/261863625/5d077420fe             

BBC World Service April 10, 2018 The Town Trying to Cure Loneliness

The Resurgence & Ecologist Mar/April 2018 Compassion is the best medicine 

ITV England, Feb 2018 Tackling the growing pressures on our hospitals, Frome England

The Guardian Feb 21, 2018 A potent cure for illness - community

A pioneering project in Frome, Somerset is using community groups and volunteers to break the debilitating cycle of loneliness and isolation. They found as people became more socially connected, emergency admissions to hospital also fell ... Dramatically.Watch:   https://youtu.be/Impos4woenQ


Press Release - 12/4/2019 13.00

Professor Steve Powis, Medical Director NHS England, will visit Frome Medical Practice 14.00 to 15.30 on Friday April 13th

·       Professor Steve Powis, the new Medical Director NHS England who has taken over the post previously held by Sir Bruce Keogh, will visit Frome Medical Practice on Friday April 13th.  He will not be available for interviews.

·       Frome Medical Practice has recently received significant media attention, demonstrating for the first time that it is possible to reduce emergency admissions to hospital across a population.

·       The media interest has been varied, featuring on BBC Points West, ITV News at 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Impos4woenQ&feature=youtu.be, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/profile/georgemonbiot, Resurgence https://www.resurgence.org/magazine/article5050-compassion-is-the-best-medicine.html, BBC World Service http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswvqw, and local media in the south west

·       The visit of the Medical Director of NHS England is a recognition of the outstanding and innovative work taking place at Frome Medical Practice, under the leadership of Dr Helen Kingston, and Jenny Hartnoll, lead for Health Connections Mendip

·       Frome is the first place in the United Kingdom that has successfully reduced the most pressing problem facing the NHS, the increase in the number of emergency admissions to hospital by 20% over the last 10 years.

·       Since 2013, an innovative project at Frome Medical Practice, with the support of Frome Town Council, has resulted in an overall drop in emergency admissions of 17%, and 30% less than the rest of Somerset.

For further information please contact:

Dr Julian Abel, Director Compassionate Communities UK  

Email julianabel@compassionate-communitiesuk.co.uk


Press Release (Feb 2018)

From the Frome Medical Practice and Resurgence & Ecologist magazine

“Compassionate Communities” a new era for medicine?

 A compassionate community programme in Frome, Somerset, has been successful in reducing emergency admissions to hospital by 30% over the last 3 years.  Bringing the impact of social relationships into clinical care has had a marked effect on health and well being, as well as massive potential savings to health and social care budgets, according to a report in the new issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. 

George Monbiot, the environmental and social activist, who last year launched a campaign to highlight the issues of loneliness and social isolation, has said of the Frome project, "It could, if the results stand up, be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? Is it a device? Is it a surgical procedure? No, it’s a newfangled intervention called community."

Compassionate communities do not take the place of social care. Rather, it has 3 components.

This is the first intervention that has successfully reduced emergency admissions to hospital across a population and offers the possibility of averting the current crisis in the NHS of increasing admissions to hospital and rising NHS costs. Emergency admissions account for nearly 20% of the £110 billion healthcare budget.

The success of the scheme is revealed in the new March/April issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine – published today (Weds 21 February) by the educational charity, The Resurgence Trust.

Frome Medical Practice, serving the 28,000 population in Frome and the surrounding area, have taken the innovative approach of combining a compassionate community programme of community development with routine medical care.

The success of the programme makes routine use of the most effective intervention for improving health and longevity, which is social relationships. Social connectedness has a bigger impact on health than giving up smoking, reducing excessive drinking, reducing obesity and any other preventative interventions. Until now, it has not been known how to use this in routine clinical practice. Through paying attention to people’s community networks, the medical practice and Health Connections Mendip, the community development service, reconnect people to both their own supportive network and the extensive community activity that already exists.

1.     Through making the most of the supportive networks of family, friends and neighbours, people build care and connectedness, love and laughter, sharing companionship and values. Some of this is task related to caring and some is increasing a sense of belonging in communities.

2.     Building networks of support for the routine matters of life, shopping, cooking, cleaning, looking after the garden and pets, providing lifts.

3.     Linking to community activity, such as choir, walking groups, men’s sheds, talking cafes and other interest groups where people can make friendships and share life’s events.

Together, compassionate communities help to reduce isolation and loneliness and bring a sense of belonging into what is sometimes a disconnected society.

Dr Julian Abel, Director of Compassionate Communities UK says “ Medicine until now has not seen the social relationships domain as part of clinical care. However, it is the most effective intervention we have in improving health and well being across populations. The project in Frome has found a way of making compassionate communities and embedded part of care. The results of doing so are startling.”

Dr Helen Kingston, Senior Partner at Frome Medical Practice and initiator of the Frome Model, says “ Our project has shown clearly that we improve patient outcomes, improve working lives of the clinical teams and dramatically reducing emergency admissions to hospital. Having the community resources at hand means we can meet the needs of our patients in a way that is most meaningful to them, rather than struggling to find answers to social problems with medications.”

Greg Neale, Editor-in-Chief of the educational and environmental charity, The Resurgence Trust, and its magazine Resurgence & Ecologist, says in an article on the Frome project: “At a time when – not just in Britain – health services are facing increasing pressure, and the cost of high-tech medicine is spiralling, such initiatives show the value of a different, more local and more socially conscious alternative.”

Note:  PDF copies of the report by Resurgence & Ecologist magazine on the Frome

Compassionate Communities project, plus a feature article by Dr Julian Abel and Lindsay Clarke giving further details are attached/available.  Please credit Resurgence & Ecologist magazine (March/April issue) in any coverage