GP prescriptions to tackle loneliness in elderly
7 July 2014 Last updated at 20:31 BST
GPs are being encouraged to prescribe trips to lunch clubs and museums as part of new measures to tackle loneliness.
For the first time local authorities in England are to be judged on how well they tackle social isolation.
It comes amid growing evidence of the links between loneliness and poor health.
Alison Holt reports.