Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Living Longer: Island considers adult care cuts

More than 1,100 people on the Isle of Wight could be affected by social care funding cuts, the BBC has learned.

The council is considering stopping payments to those classed as having substantial care needs.

A BBC survey found that the Isle of Wight is among a number of councils reassessing care eligibility criteria.

When asked whether it would change its criteria in 2011/12, the council said it would "probably" limit support to those in "critical" need.

The survey asked all councils in England about their financial plans for older people - classed as those aged over 50.

Responses were received from 87 out of the 151 councils contacted - a 58% response rate.

'Targeted support'

A council spokesman said the proposals would allow for some "continuing targeted support" for people with substantial needs if it would seriously affect their ability to remain living independently or if it would push them into the critical category.

The council said there were 1,165 "non critical" service users on 30 September 2010 but it was not possible to say how many could lose support.

A risk-based assessment would be carried out for each person.

The proposals are aimed at saving the council £1.2m a year.

Ian Anderson, director of community services, said: "There are some people who may not have a service at all in future, there will be some people who may receive less and there will be many people who will receive the same."

Jill Christian, an amputee from Newport, fears she could be among those hit by the proposals.

She said: "I need help in the morning with showering, bed making, some meal preparation.

"If I didn't have support, I wouldn't have a life - I wouldn't be able to do anything."

Among the those considered to be in critical need are people with serious health problems or who are unable to carry out "vital personal routines".

Those who are unable to carry out the majority of their personal tasks or whose health problems are not deemed to be serious are usually classed as having substantial needs.

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