A SALTCOATS OAP fears she may end up in a care home after a vital food service had its funding scrapped by health and council bosses.

Bessie Fry, 82, said the Irvine-based charity Food Train North Ayrshire have been a vital lifeline to her and that she is too frail to manage shopping on her own.

As reported last week, the service will now have to close on March 31, after funding was scrapped by North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Bessie said: “It’s quite a blow, I’m really going to miss it. It felt like getting a little bit of independence back.

“I got my groceries delivered and get my medicine delivered and have cleaners. If I lose all these things I’m going to end up in a home.

“The volunteers are lovely, it’s a breath of fresh air when they come in they’ve always got chat and interested in what you’re doing and if you need anything, they’re really very good.

“Sometimes it’s the only people you see in the day.

“I can’t go out on my own. I’m quite frail. I can get a taxi to town but I can only carry so much. I can’t trail round the shop and get a big load of messages. I can only get two or three things like bread, then get taxi home. I’m not able to get out at all in weather like this.”

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We are deeply saddened that it has not been possible to continue to fund some care projects and we fully understand Food Train’s disappointment.

“Demand for health and social care services is continuing to increase while funding is diminishing. Food Train was one of a number of Integrated Care Fund projects in North Ayrshire funded via three-year programme from the Scottish Government which ends March 31.

“Due to severe financial constraints within health and social, the Integrated Care Fund Review Group – made up of senior representatives from North Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Third Sector and Independent Sectors – agreed that only projects which were considered financially sustainable should receive support going forward.

“Their funding recommendations were unanimously approved by the Integrated Joint Board.

“We are sadly unable to fund Food Train North Ayrshire after March 31.

“Service users should be reassured that safe, high quality care and support is our first and highest priority. Discussions are ongoing with Food Train to ensure people who use our services are safe.”

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