As part of Meals on Wheels Week (5-9 November), the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), in association with the charity Sustain, has launched a collection of case studies which showcase innovative and alternative solutions to Meals on Wheels provision, helping sustain this vital service in challenging economic circumstances.
The featured case studies are great examples of how NACC members across the UK have embraced different service models to enhance and expand their services, which provide a nutritional, physical, emotional and social lifeline for many elderly and vulnerable people across the country.
The inspirational service models have been highlighted because their expansion is bucking the trend of ongoing cuts and closures in Meals on Wheels service provision. NACC research released for Meals on Wheels Week 2018 revealed that 24% of the UK’s local authorities have stopped offering a Meals on Wheels service since 2014, and just 42% of local authorities now offer any kind of Meals on Wheels service to elderly and vulnerable people living in our communities due to the drastic reduction in Adult Social Care budgets.
The NACC will issue the case studies widely – including to all members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and more – to encourage leaders and decision makers to think differently and creatively about how Meals on Wheels services are delivered and help avoid further closures of the vital service.
The services featured in the case study document are CATERed Meals on Wheels, Plymouth; HILS Meals on Wheels, Hertfordshire; LILS Meals on Wheels, London; Stars Kitchen Meals on Wheels, West Midlands; Dundee Meals on Wheels and West Sussex County Council Meals on Wheels.
On launching the document with Ben Reynolds, Deputy Chief Executive at Sustain, Neel Radia, National Chair of the NACC, said: “Over the past few years we’ve seen a most disturbing pattern of Meals on Wheels services being shut down across the UK by some local authorities as a short-term solution to budget cuts, combined with missed opportunities to develop sustainable alternatives.
“It’s fantastic that in these challenging economic circumstances we’re seeing inspirational examples of opportunity and innovation from providers that are determined to protect and expand their Meals on Wheels services. The case studies clearly show that there are sustainable alternatives to the traditional service model and we’re sharing this positive message as widely as possible.
“We believe that this could be the solution to safeguarding the service for future generations. We’re urging all local authorities and their partners to take inspiration and consider new approaches in their localities to protect this valuable service that enables our older population to live safely in their own homes and communities for longer.”
Follow Meals on Wheels Week 2018 on Twitter @NACCCaterCare #mealsonwheels