Meals on Wheels Consultation
This consultation has now closed. Find out about the outcome below.
- What was the outcome of the consultation?
- What was being proposed?
- What was offered by the council?
- What is currently offered in the community?
- What changed?
- What was the purpose of the consultation?
Following consideration of the consultation, the Cabinet decided in October that the council will no longer offer a subsidised meals on wheels service. The council will continue to ensure access to a meal and act as a facilitator and navigator, helping individuals to decide which meals option of the community alternatives available they want to take up.
The council does not intend to promote one option but to ensure a number of ways of accessing a regular hot meal are in place and to work with users to make the choice which best meets their needs. For existing users of the service the council will support each individual to choose the most suitable alternative option and ensure that we continue to meet the assessed needs and outcomes.
The council was proposing to end the current Meals on Wheels subsidy, and instead help people to access the most appropriate alternative options for support with meals.
These alternative options included a number of community based services which enable access to a hot meal and help people to feel supported in their local community.
We believe, in line with the Care Act, that the council’s key focus should be on enabling people who need additional support to have access to a hot meal rather than on funding the meal itself. This is the focus of this consultation.
The subsidy for the Meals on Wheels service costs the council more than £140,000 each year, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the council to meet this cost when alternatives exist which meet service users’ need to access a meal. Most other local authorities have moved away from subsidising meals on wheels services and with council budgets under intense pressure, it is essential that we explore every possible option for reducing costs and targeting our spend most effectively.
We believe the alternative options in place not only offer access to a hot meal but will also help people to feel more connected with their local community, reducing social isolation and building local provision.
Haringey Council commissioned Meals on Wheels from an organisation called Sodexo. Hot meals were delivered directly to around 100 service users, with the council making a contribution of at least £4 per meal and the service user paying £3.40 per meal.
There are a number of other options already available to people in need of support accessing a meal. These support the council’s wider aim to promote independence and support people in their local community. These include:
- Frozen food delivery services – from £2.99 per meal
- Community Centre meals on wheels services (Monday to Friday)
- Cypriot Centre, £4.50 per meal
- Grace Community Centre, £7 per meal
- Non-subsidised hot meal delivery – from £6.75 per meal
- Luncheon clubs – offered at a range of different community centres on different days, cost around £5 per meal
It was proposed that the council should no longer subsidise meals, but social workers will support service users to access meals options available in the community through an individual review and planning process, including exploring whether any additional support such as extra storage space or advice on heating meals is needed.
The council is working with existing community meals providers and new providers to help improve options available in the community and better meet residents’ needs.
Cabinet took a final decision in October 2017. Existing users are being supported to consider their alternatives from the end of October.
We heard your views on our proposals to end the subsidy and to support you to access the options available in the community.
We also wanted to understand the implications of removing the subsidy currently paid by the council.
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