Proposed increase for Wightcare service fees

Elderly disabled woman with a walking stick and carer giving her glass of water

A proposed increase to fees for Wightcare services is to be considered by the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet next week.

Due to the rising cost of delivering the service it was proposed in the 2022/23 budget to increase charges. If approved Thursday (May 12), it would be the first rise since 2018. Since then, costs to deliver the service have risen dramatically due to increases in the cost of living, the national living wage, inflation and other expenses, coupled with reduced funding from the government.

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 the 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.

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.

“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.

“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.”