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LETTER:Food and caring come on wheels

From Mr D. J. Bell

Sir: Your correspondent has missed half the point of meals on wheels. Until recently, following a stroke, my mother received the excellent meals- on-wheels service of the London borough of Haringey. For me the huge advantage of this was that every day, seven days a week, someone called on her and knew that she was all right. As well as providing this check, for many elderly recipients the daily call is the only human contact which they have on many days: it is only a fleeting contact, but none the less valuable.

I am all in favour of improving the quality of the meals provided, but moving to a system that does away with the daily call is not "moving into the fast lane''. It represents a large backward step in community care of the elderly. I would call it "reversing into a cul-de-sac".

Yours faithfully,

D. J. Bell

Standon, Hertfordshire

4 November