Negotiations open with new provider over running meals on wheels in West Sussex

Meals on Wheels on Services ENGSUS00120130210153622
Meals on Wheels on Services ENGSUS00120130210153622

The county council is negotiating with a new provider over taking on the ‘meals on wheels’ contract in October.

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) announced earlier this year it would not continue to run the service, which delivers hot meals to elderly and vulnerable residents in West Sussex, as it was losing ‘significant amounts of money each day’.

A new contract for the service was put up for tender in 2013, making it cost-neutral to West Sussex County Council and self-funded by the charity.

When RVS announced it was pulling out of the contract in February Peter Catchpole, WSCC’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said that the charity ‘had got its sums wrong’.

Meanwhile volunteers who help deliver the meals expressed anger at the possibility of the service ending and the impact this would have on residents who relied on it.

However the county council is now negotiating with a single provider to take on the meals on wheels contract from October 19, following a competitive procurement process.

An urgent executive decision has been made to authorise the commencement of negotiations, and if successful WSCC’s executive director for care, wellbeing and education can award the contract.

The name of the potential provider has not yet been made public due to reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Do you use the meals on wheels service? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

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