05 May 2022

Wightcare fees under review

A proposed increase to fees for Wightcare services — the first rise in four years — is to be considered by the Isle of Wight Council's Cabinet next week.

Due to the rising cost of delivering this vital service, which includes a 24/7 call-out service, mobile responder service and regular welfare calls to check in on people across the Island, it was proposed in the 2022/23 budget to increase charges.

If approved next Thursday (12 May), it would be the first rise since 2018.

Since then, costs to deliver the service have increased dramatically due to increases in the cost of living, the national living wage, inflation and other expenses, coupled with reduced funding from central government.

It means the service does not meet its running costs through income and had to be subsidised to the tune of almost £300,000 last year.

Over the next few months a detailed analysis will be undertaken to review different models that will bring Wightcare back to breakeven from its present annual 36 per cent deficit, securing the long-term viability of this critical service.

The proposed increases are:

• Remote monitoring 24/7: from £29.55 to £33.36. An increase of £3.81 per month.

• Remote monitoring with emergency response service 24/7 (with unlimited call-outs): from £42.23 to £47.66. An increase of £5.43 per month.

• Remote monitoring with emergency response service 24/7 (with unlimited call-outs and equipment): from £48.88 to £55.16. An increase of £6.28 per month.

• Installation fees (a one-off cost) is proposed to increase from £80 to £90.

Depending on the service provided, increases could be as little as 90p per week, or £46.72 over the course of a year.

Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The last thing we want to do is increase the cost of vital care to vulnerable members of our community.

“The service is the only one of its kind on the Island, providing 24-hour support 365 days a year for more than 2,300 local people and their families. It provides peace of mind for those who use it so, in order to retain it, we do need to look at how we charge.

“We haven’t increased the costs for Wightcare since 2018, which was crucial during the pandemic when people may have been further isolated from the support of their family and friends. This has resulted in the service being subsidised from our adult social care budget.

“Given the increasing pressures on adult social care and reducing allocations of funding from central government, continuing to subsidise this service faces real challenges and we must take action to safeguard its future.

"Doing nothing to address the financial gaps is no longer an option. Our resources are limited and as more people need help and support we need to ensure we use those resources in the best possible way to safeguard everyone.”

Share On
Share with MySpace Share with Google Plus Share with Yahoo Share with Twitter Share with Facebook
Related Services
Most Read
Most Shared
Wightcare is the only service of its kind on the Island, providing 24-hour support 365 days a year for more than 2,300 people and their families
Wightcare is the only service of its kind on the Island, providing 24-hour support 365 days a year for more than 2,300 people and their families
Factfile
  • The vital service includes a 24/7 call-out service, mobile responder service and regular welfare calls to check in on people across the Island.
  • Costs to deliver the service have risen dramatically due to increases in the cost of living, the national living wage, inflation and other expenses, amid reduced government funding.
 
Isle of Wight, UK