Hunt: 'Chronically lonely' ignored

A "forgotten million" elderly people are "chronically lonely" as the result of being ignored by society, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

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Hunt: We have 'utterly failed' to address loneliness

England should be ashamed of how it treats its elderly, the Health Secretary said in a speech today.

It is a "national shame" that there are 800,000 elderly people in society who are chronically lonely, Jeremy Hunt said.

"We know there is a broader problem of loneliness that in our busy lives we have utterly failed to confront as a society," he said.

"Forty-six percent of people aged 80 or over report feeling lonely some of the time or often. Some five million people say television is their main form of company - that's 10% of the population.

"Each and every lonely person has someone who could visit them and offer companionship.

"A forgotten million who live amongst us - ignored to our national shame."

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