Use it or lose it: fears for future of meals on wheels

Elderly and vulnerable people have been urged to sign up for the meals on wheels service provided by South West Acute Hospital with fears that the service could be lost.
These meals are hot, nutritious and provided for those who meet the criteria led down by the Department of Health but recently the numbers of users is depleting and there is no one new coming on to the scheme.
Jill Weir of Unison Trade Union is urging new people to sign up for the service, as she believes that if it is not used, it will not be continued by the hospital.
Ms Weir said, “I have been fighting to keep this service for many years.
“We are the only place left that provides this service from the hospital so we are not giving it up without a fight. I have been made aware of people who would love a hot meal but because they may have a 15 minute call from Homecare, who make them a sandwich, they are not eligible for a hot meal, which I’m sure would be of more benefit.”
The Trust’s community meals service is presently provided across the Trust’s area with service provision provided from a range of community, voluntary, private and statutory sector outlets. The service presently normally operates on a Monday to Friday basis although some schemes may only operate on certain days each week.
Ms Weir continued, “Simple things like providing a hot meal, ensuring a drink is taken and even the social aspect of someone calling daily, would surely help in keeping people at home and stop the need for some admissions to our already busy hospital.
“If you know of anyone you think could benefit from this service, contact their social worker and please do not use the excuse that it is no longer available or that it can be got at a local shop,” she said.

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