The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) are asking government to consider making Meals on Wheels a statutory protected service for those considered most at risk in the community to help ensure greater provision across England, Scotland and Wales. Meals on Wheels are currently a discretionary service – councils do not have to provide meals on wheels services.
The number of councils providing meals on wheels to vulnerable older people has now dropped for the first time to below 50%, according to the National Association of Care Catering (NACC).
Their study showed 91% of providers expected further cuts in the next 12 months, whilst only half of those providing a service do so for 365 days a year.
Health experts have also identified better nutritional care as the third largest source of cost savings to the NHS.
In 2015, malnutrition accounted for nearly £20bn of health spending, but the NACC argues that a £4.30 two course lunch could not only tackle malnutrition but would also prevent unnecessary
bed-blocking and save money, especially given that it costs an estimated £400 to keep someone in hospital for one day.
Jan Shortt, NPC vice president said: “Meals on wheels offer a lifeline to many lonely
and isolated older people and a small investment in the service would show massive
health and financial benefits for us all.”
For further information on the campaign visit www.thenacc.co.uk