Make Meals on Wheels services in the UK a statutory protected service.
The Meals on Wheels service in the UK has been around for more than 70 years and provides older, vulnerable and disabled people living in the community with the provision of a hot subsidised meal delivered to their home daily by local authorities and other providers. The service is keeping individuals well-nourished and socially independent whilst helping to prevent malnutrition related illnesses that can lead to hospital admission, costing the tax payer more money.
With ongoing budget cuts impacting on the Meals on Wheels provision in the UK, many have been closed down, or significantly reduced as a means to save money. Currently this is a discretionary service (not statutory by law). In 2014, the National Association of Care Catering found that over a third of councils had already shut down the service.
The Meals on Wheels service delivers more than just a meal; the service addresses many issues that matter today in an aging society including loneliness, social isolation and safety in the home. For many older and disabled people the daily interaction they get with the Meals on Wheels driver is the only human contact they have all day.
With the spending cuts to be announced in coming weeks it is without a doubt that even more services will disappear in the coming months leaving more people without access to a hot meal.
This petition is to call upon the government to consider making Meals on Wheels a statutory protectedservice for those considered most at risk in the community to help ensure greater provisions across England, Scotland and Wales. Meals on Wheels is currently a discretionary service and this needs to change.
To sign the Government petition please go to the website