A decision by cash-strapped Isle of Wight social services to cut
the number of older people it places in residential care could
bring the NHS on the island to a standstill within months, it has
Health chiefs have criticised the island’s social services
director Charles Waddicor for taking the decision “without proper
The move has angered both the island’s primary care trust and
its NHS trust. PCT executive chairperson Dr Mark Denman-Johnson
said the measure posed a serious threat.
He said: “Why on God’s earth didn’t they get in touch with us
before making a decision. I think this is atrocious.”
But Waddicor said the move was a necessary step to help curb a
projected social services overspend of £1.3 million and is
designed to save £200,000 by reducing the numbers going into
residential and nursing homes.
“What we are doing is looking carefully at all applications for
residential and nursing home care and scrutinising them against the
eligibility criteria to make sure that we give priority to those
most at risk.
“I spoke to the chief executives of both trusts in June and then
again on the phone and I warned them of the projected overspend and
that I may have to take action that would affect them.
“The consequence of not doing this is that we will run out of
money and will not be able to help people who are in urgent
Waddicor added that, as of May, the island had only 3 per cent
of its hospital beds blocked by delayed discharges – the lowest
percentage in England and Wales.