Eating Well, Living Well
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Hampshire County Council is planning to improve Hampshire's meals on wheels for older people to create a more consistent and fair service and introduce a support service to assist people at meal times.
Meals on Wheels provide over 200,000 vital hot meals to residents in Hampshire. That meal not only contributes to a nutritionally balanced diet, which helps people stay warm and healthy, it helps people stay in their own homes for longer and in some cases provides vital social contact with the outside world.
At the moment the service varies depending on where people live. In future, the plan is to make sure the service continues on a more frequent basis and that everyone who needs a regular hot meal can get one.
Proposals to tender for a new Meals on Wheels contract will be considered by Councillor Felicity Hindson at her Executive Member Decision day for Adult Social Care on Friday 29 June.
If approved, Hampshire County Council will be looking for new providers, who can offer a consistent and fair service. The new providers will also be asked to explore the viability of providing breakfasts and afternoon tea.
Cllr Hindson will also be considering recommendations to enhance the social support that meals on wheels provides. Under the proposals older people can be visited by a volunteer at meal times who would spend quality time with them, keeping them in touch with local events, activities and giving advice on services available to them.
It is also suggested that the funding for meals on wheels changes, with the service being funded by HCC and the customer whilst districts contribute to the social support element.
Councillor Felicity Hindson, said:
"I want to reassure everyone who currently receives Meals on Wheels that they can continue to do so in the future. I am very aware of how valued the service is and how important a hot, nutritionally balanced meal is in keeping people well and active and of the vital role the service plays in keeping people in social contact. I want to continue to support people in their own homes in every way I can and one way we can achieve this is by offering a wide choice of nutritionally balanced meals that are delivered to people's homes at a convenient time and day of the week.
"When considering the option of tendering for a new provider/s, I will want to be assured that along side guaranteeing the quality and choice of nutritionally balanced meals, that affordability plays a key part in the selection process."