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Herts Independent Living Service

Lead service provider/commissioner


Hertfordshire Independent Living Service

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project evaluation

Type of evaluation:

Outcome evaluation

Prevention service description

Offering hot meals and other caring services 365 days a year, HILS helped to support the independence of over 13,000 people in Hertfordshire last year, and delivers around 500,000 meals every year. The HILS menu offers a daily choice of five hot lunch meals and four desserts, which adhere to strict national catering guidance. HILS provides a wide selection of meals, suitable for dietary, ethnic, and religious choices and personal preferences. HILS is committed to keeping the costs of meals at a fixed price for all. HILS’ client Margaret, 83, says: “Not only do I enjoy the food, but I’ve got someone to chat to. It can get quite lonely here, and because I live on my own, I don’t see many people. I haven’t got any family or anything, so it’s nice that someone comes in each day”.

Recognising that clients have a greater need for activities and support that are ‘more than just a meal’, HILS employs community dietitians to provide bespoke advice about nutrition and wellbeing. The preventative aspect addresses malnourishment, exploring the root causality before health issues arise. Trained clinical experts are able to assess and screen clients, using NHS validated tools to explore clients’ emotional wellbeing, social isolation, and risk of falls and fractures. Other caring services include: advocacy; dementia support, including fun clubs; a drop-in lunch club restaurant; emergency food and grocery packs for crisis support; home from hospital food and grocery packs; key safe installation; medication prompts; and pop in visits. For instance, HILS has provided 3,000 emergency welfare bags to families in crisis, or people leaving hospital, over the last year.

Intervention/service type:

Support at home; Information and advice; Community services; Low-level support; Self-care; Housing support

Target client group(s):

Older people; Adults with long-term health conditions; Adults with learning disabilities; Adults with mental health problems; Carers; Adults with physical disabilities; Vulnerable adults

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