Plans by the South Eastern Health Trust to halt the daily delivery of meals to older people at home has been strongly criticised by health spokesperson of the SDLP Ferghal McKinney.
The Trust said that people will continue to receive nutritious meals and would benefit from a wider choice of options.
Cutbacks have been blamed for the Trusts plans to deliver 14 frozen meals every two weeks.
The Southern Health Trust is the only one of Northern Ireland’s five health trusts that does not deliver chilled but freshly cooked meals to older people in their own homes on a daily basis.
Fearghal McKinney said the South Eastern Health Trust’s plans to stop daily deliveries would reduce older people’s contact with carers.
He said, “They are the eyes and ears, a safety check if you like, to report on the changing health needs of older homebound adults.
The Trust spokesperson said in a statement, “Clients will continue to receive a nutritious meal and will benefit from a wider choice of options, conveniently delivered to their home,” the spokesperson said.
“This approach ensures improved value for money and sustainability without compromising on the quality and choice of meals available for clients.”