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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 03/10/2006


– 19TH JUNE 2006


The Meals on Wheels Sub-Committee was set up to assist the Meals on Wheels review process, it comprises the following members Mrs Mansell, Mrs Ellis, Mrs Foryszewski and Mrs Keen and has the following terms of reference:

The Sub-Committee met on Monday 12th June 2006 and appointed Mrs Keen as Chairman. The purpose of the meeting was firstly to discuss the visits undertaken by Sub-Committee members and officers with WRVS volunteers delivering meals and secondly to consider the eligibility criteria used by other authorities for their MOW service.

Meals on Wheels visits undertaken with WRVS volunteers

1. On Tuesday 9th May members of the Sub-Committee and officers accompanied WRVS volunteers on their delivery rounds and witnessed approximately 40 meals being delivered to MOW clients in their homes.

2. The members of the Sub Committee and officers discussed their findings from the Meals on Wheels visits and these are summarised below:

a. Level of deprivation/poverty and the frailty of some MOW clients came as a surprise and the visits were, as one member stated, a humbling experience; b. Generally with, one or two possible exceptions, all clients seemed genuinely in need of the service; c. Members raised concerns over the level of security of clients property; d. Some of the recipients visited were housebound and rarely had visitors, even from family members;

e. There were examples of clients who would visit Day Centres for lunch on occasion but this relied on transport to collect them from their home and return them later;

f. WRVS visits were very short - in some cases just delivering the meal to the door, passing it to the client and leaving – in other cases the volunteers took meals through to the kitchen or rooms where clients ate, because of the need to deliver meals quickly while they are hot the social interaction (although mostly very welcomed) was limited;

g. The meals provided were nutritious and special options were provided to meet particular medical conditions, but all members agreed that the service was of greater value/benefit than just the meal itself;

h. There were one or two mistakes in the meals provided for delivery;

i. Members were impressed with the commitment and caring attitude of the volunteers they met;

j. Volunteers vehicles had no notices indicating that they were parked while delivering MOW, in some circumstances where parking is difficult this might be useful;

k. Many WRVS volunteers seemed to operate alone – a possible safety concern –are mobile phones always carried?;

l. Need to explore further co-ordination with Surrey County Council Adults and Community Care services an example being breakfast provided late by SCC provided care assistant some 30 minutes before MOW lunch was delivered;

m. There is a question of whether all alternative meal arrangements for MOW recipients are known and considered e.g. Day Centres, Lunch Clubs etc – the cost of transport would be an issue;

n. The difficulty of collecting payment for meals was raised as an issue to discuss further with WRVS;

3. The Sub-Committee recognised that Waverley is fortunate in currently having a sustainable volunteer based MOW service unlike other authorities. However more information is required on the longer-term sustainability of this service and more background information from WRVS on MOW coverage across Waverley, as it is understood that Dunsfold and Alfold are not covered by the service. It was agreed that WRVS and one or two WRVS volunteers be invited to a future meeting of the Sub-Committee to explore these matters and the issues raised as a result of the MOW visits. Further information on clients with microwave ovens was also requested by the Sub-Co mmittee.

4. The Sub-Committee decided it would not at this time undertake visits with the Guildford Borough Council direct labour MOW service.

Eligibility Criteria

5. The Sub-Committee received and considered the details set out in Annexe A attached, of the eligibility criteria operated by Waverley and some other Surrey authorities and in addition in Annexe B attached ,Surrey County Council’s ‘Fair Access to Care Services – Eligibility Policy for Adult Services’.

6. The Sub-Committee was advised that the MOW service was considered as a Best Value Review approximately five years ago and that the existing fairly unrestricted criteria were endorsed by the Council at that time, largely because restricting the service offered only very marginal savings. The need for premises and staff to cook the food would largely be unaltered if numbers declined and, because of the size of the borough a single centre for cooking meals was not seen as viable. The Chairman requested that all Sub Committee members receive a copy of this review.

7. It was agreed that the Sub-Committee would invite Surrey County Council officers to the next meeting to pursue in greater depth Surrey’s role and their view that the service should be more targeted to need, and to identify who would lose out if tighter criteria were adopted. The financial contribution from SCC to the service would also be covered at this meeting.

8. The Sub-Committee agreed that WRVS would be asked for their views on eligibility criteria.

9. Further information would also be sought on reassessment arrangements.


10. It was agreed that the Sub-Committee meet again with a target of reporting its completed work to the September meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Members were requested by the Chairman to bring forward to the next meeting, suggestions and ideas for eligibility criteria.



Name: Roger Standing Telephone: 01483 523221

E-mail: rstanding@waverley.gov.uk