Wightcare

Wightcare Alarm/Telecare Service Consultation

Following a two month consultation, Members agreed to increase the cost of Wightcare services in order to balance the council’s budget deficit for the service, which is currently losing over £450,000 per year, at a meeting of the Executive on the 4 August 2015.  Increased charges will be delivered in two phases over the next two years in order to protect residents’ finances as much as possible.
 
The Isle of Wight Council surveyed users of the Wightcare service and their families earlier in 2015, and the majority of respondents (69.8 per cent) agreed that this vital service for around 2,300 Island residents needs to be self-sustaining in order to ensure its survival, by opting for the increase. 

Councillor Steve Stubbings, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Community Well-Being, said: “Wightcare is an essential and high-quality service for many vulnerable Island residents, which must be maintained.  We want to make sure that this increase in charges, although necessary, doesn’t impact too heavily on the vulnerable users of the Wightcare service. 

“As the council strives to reduce its spending levels in response to the Government’s national austerity agenda, balancing the books of our services is a positive step forward to achieving our savings targets.” 

The number of emergency calls to Wightcare has risen considerably, from 4091 in 2012, to 5719 in 2014. 

The existing deficit faced by the council is £451,413 each year.  Charges will increase for each level of service by £2 per week in November 2015, and by a further £2 per week in November 2016. 

Current rate

per week (£)
(excluding VAT)

November 2015

per week (£)
(excluding VAT)

November 2016

per week (£)
(excluding VAT)

Service level 1 

2.65

4.65

6.65

Service level 2

5.50

7.50

9.50

Service level 3

7.00

9.00

11.00

The majority of Wightcare (98.41 per cent) clients are exempt from paying VAT.

Members also voted to increase the initial installation charge to £40 from £33.10 (excluding VAT).