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Understanding social reasons for ambulance service use

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Loneliness and social isolation amongst people who frequently call ambulance services: an exploratory mixed methods study



  • Contact name

    Tracy Collins

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Northumrbia University

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 5 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Little is known within ambulance services about how best to manage frequent calling due to loneliness and/or social isolation (which is associated with reduced health and wellbeing). This is vital to develop appropriate responses and support to individuals, thus potentially reducing frequency of calls to ambulance services which are currently over capacity. This study will support people experiencing loneliness and social isolation (exacerbated for many during the COVID-19 pandemic) who frequently call the ambulance service in the North East (an area associated with poor health outcomes) to move beyond disadvantage by understanding their unmet health and social care needs to inform potential interventions.

    In this study we will recruit up to 20 people who call the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) frequently, who have self-identified as being socially isolated and/or lonely to explore their experiences and to create ‘personal community maps’ to help us further understand the complexity of their relationships, contacts, and unmet needs.

    This study aims to develop a better understanding of the complex factors associated with loneliness and social isolation experienced by people who call ambulance services frequently in order to tailor responses to address their unmet needs. The study is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research and will last for 18 months from April 2022 to September 2023.

  • REC name

    Yorkshire & The Humber - Leeds West Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    9 Feb 2023

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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