Reading's 'meals on wheels' service changes proposed

Meal coming off the production line - generic
Image caption Numbers of people using Reading's "meals on wheels" service have almost halved in the past year

Changes to the way people in Reading are provided with meals in their homes are under public consultation following a drop in users.

Reading Borough Council said the number of people using the service had almost halved in the past year from 168 to 94.

The council, which works with the Woman's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) to deliver meals, said it would look at "tailoring" users' individual needs.

No changes to the service are expected to be made until March.

'Combating loneliness'

Mike Orton, Reading Borough Council's Lead Councillor for adult social care, said it was important that users, their families and carers were given the opportunity to have a say in how their needs would be met.

Liz Price, from Berkshire WRVS, said the service was not just about providing a hot meal.

"It's also about combating loneliness and isolation," she said.

"They get a visit from drivers who also perform general 'safe and well checks' - reporting any concerns they have to the relevant family member or carer."

The council's current contract with WRVS Food Services Limited ends in March.

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