The Isle of Wight's retiring head of adult social care has called for more money and more government action, after an escalation in the care crisis led to an evening last week when an agency was unable to find staff to care for vulnerable Islanders.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning (Monday), Dr Carol Tozer said her Isle of Wight Council department received an urgent call for help, when a care provider did not have enough staff to carry out its remaining visits for the day.

Scroll down for a link to the programme, to hear it in full...

Dr Tozer said: "We received, in the early evening, notification from a care provider that they were unable to deliver care that very evening.

"This wasn't irresponsibility - it was an act of last resort."

Dr Tozer said the provider had already tried to call staff who were not on shift, those on annual leave and other care agencies, before making an emergency plea to the Isle of Wight Council.

It meant the delivery of care to 25 adults at risk was at stake and the situation, Dr Tozer warned, is not unique to the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight Council's team contacted the Islanders' families who, in some cases, stepped in at short notice to look after their loved-ones.

Dr Tozer said, "we mobilised really quickly" to help those without care.

Telling the BBC that those involved were "desperately shocked," she thanked duty social workers, managers and staff who agreed to come in on a day off, or to return from holiday, to help out.

It meant, she said, that care was delivered to "each and every one who needed it."

Dr Tozer told the BBC radio news programme that the Isle of Wight's care providers are "magnificent," but said the current staffing situation is "unprecedented".

In August 2020, the Isle of Wight County Press reported that a frontline care team that provides vital overnight support was due to be halved, as part of the measures to save £2 million.

Agreed in 2019, the cuts included a £102,000 budget reduction for the Night Outreach Team.

Instead, equipment like beds that automatically turn people while they are asleep were being introduced and managers also argued that fewer people were relying on the Night Outreach Team.

This morning, Radio Four's Today heard from a spokesperson for National Care Providers, who said Brexit rules on who can work in the UK and the requirement to be vaccinated against Covid-19 had contributed to a staff shortage.

As previously reported by the County Press, Carol Tozer has announced plans to step down from her role at the end of August.