First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman visited the Capability Scotland Edinburgh Hub ahead of the extension of free personal care to people of all ages who are assessed as requiring it.
The expansion of free personal care – which was previously only available to those aged over 65 – comes into force on April 1 2019 and is often referred to as ‘Frank’s Law’ after the former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel. Frank was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59 and sadly died six years later in 2014.
The expansion means that anyone who is assessed by their local authority as requiring personal care will receive it free of charge, regardless of their age, condition, capital or income.
The First Minister met with staff at the centre and spoke with some of the people attending the hub who may benefit from the change in the law now or in the future.
“I’m very pleased that this legislation is now coming into effect, ensuring that all those who require personal care are able to access it free of charge, regardless of their age, condition or income.
“This change will help thousands of people across Scotland receive the support that they are entitled to without being impacted financially.
“I’d like to thank Amanda Kopel, Frank’s widow, for her tireless work bringing to public light the issues of personal care for under 65s. She has ensured this remained prominent in the public’s mind and she should feel very proud that it is now being delivered.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“We’ve made the necessary changes to the law, and issued clear guidance to local authorities, to clearly set out the expansion of free personal care. For the first time everyone under the aged of 65 who is assessed as requiring personal care will receive it for free.
“To ensure this is delivered we’ve backed this with £30 million of new funding to local authorities across Scotland. This is a step change in the provision in personal care in Scotland and we’ll continue to work with our colleagues in councils to ensure it is delivered in full.”
The Community Care (Personal Care and Nursing Care) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2018 comes into effect on April 1.
From then people can no longer be charged for personal care services they are assessed as requiring. Personal care includes areas such as; support with personal hygiene, issues with mobility, food preparation and support at mealtimes, and assistance with dressing or getting in or out of bed.
Social care services may be chargeable, such as help with housework, laundry, shopping and services outside the home, such as day care centres.