75% of meals-on-wheels recipients in Western Trust and numbers increasing
Three quarters of meals-on-wheels recipients in the north are in the Western Trust, a new report has shown.
The relatively high uptake is revealed in the latest Statistics on Community Care for Adults in Northern Ireland (2021 – 2022) report.
The bulletin states: “At March 31, 2022, three quarters (75 per cent, 864) of all persons receiving a meals-on-wheels service were located in the Western HSC Trust. No one in the Southern HSC Trust was in receipt of a meals on wheels service as Southern HSC Trust meals on wheels service ceased prior to March 2016.
"The lowest uptake of meals on wheels in 2021/22 was observed in the Northern HSC Trust (four per cent, 41).”
The number of elderly and vulnerable people receiving nourishment from the service in the Western Trust has been increasing, bucking a downward trend across the north.
"There has been a decreasing trend in the number of clients receiving meals across all HSC Trusts, over the last five years. The sharpest decline is observed in the Northern HSC Trust (68 per cent drop).
"Belfast and South Eastern HSC Trusts observed a 64 per cent and 46 per cent decrease, respectively, from 2017/18 to 2021/22. The Western HSC Trust observed a two per cent increase in the number of clients receiving meals over the last five years,” the report states.
According to the report some Trusts reported a reduction in meals-on-wheels provision due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In some cases this was due to care packages being cancelled by clients to reduce the risk of the virus through contact,” the report states.