Ellie Ames 30 October 2023

Meals on wheels ‘heading for UK-wide collapse’

Meals on wheels ‘heading for UK-wide collapse’ image
Image: Kzenon / Shutterstock.com

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has called for meals on wheels to become a statutory responsibility for councils after it found provision of the services continued to fall.

The association said the services were 'heading for UK-wide collapse' after its 'damning' report revealed that just 29% of UK local authorities run a service like meals on wheels, down from 48% in 2016.

The NACC said there were ‘potentially disastrous ramifications’ of losing the services, which support people to live independently by reducing the risks of social isolation and malnutrition.

In a letter with other signatories including Age UK and Care England, the NACC has called on the Government to consider meals on wheels a statutory requirement and give councils direct funding for the services.

NACC chair Neel Radia said: ‘Removing a preventative service for the most vulnerable in our communities is short-sighted.

‘With the NHS in long-term crisis it is obtuse to add to the public health burden by cutting an ill-health prevention and support service, that is of itself a cost-effective way of supporting older people.

‘The answer is to give councils the direct funding to support meals on wheels and ensure the service has a long-term future.’

The new Centre for Young Lives image

The new Centre for Young Lives

Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.
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