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Meals-on-Wheels Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 3 May 2018

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Questions (206)

John Lahart


206. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health if mainstream funding for meals-on-wheels rather than the situation whereby meals-on-wheels is carried out through community employment schemes will be considered. [19486/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Executive provides funding for meals on wheels. The majority of this funding is provided through grant aid to voluntary agencies, with a small level of service also provided by the HSE directly.

The Deputy will be aware that a considerable component of the Sláintecare Report focuses on reorientation of health services towards primary and community based care. With a view to supporting the shift in our model of care to one that is focused on prevention and early intervention, I have requested that my Department and the HSE consider how community-based services for older people are delivered, with particular focus on day care and meals-on-wheels. The HSE is currently engaged in a process of mapping the type and level of such service across the country and the associated grants to voluntary bodies.

My officials are also in discussions with the Health Research Board with a view to the undertaking of international research focused on day care and meals-on-wheels services in a number of other jurisdictions to identify key learnings and ideas for models of delivery and/or support for such services.

It is my objective that our older people are supported to stay at home and in their communities for as long as possible, as they wish to do. With that in mind, in line with the work described above, I have asked my officials and the HSE to explore proposals for further support in this regard in the context of this year's estimates process.