Some of Scotland’s councils only receive a fraction of the funding they need to implement the country’s policy, according to figures published yesterday.
The statistics, published by the Scottish Parliament’s health committee following a freedom of information request, show that the worst affected authority is Shetland Islands, which needs £3.7m to support the policy but only receives £358,000 from the Scottish executive.
North Lanarkshire Council needs £15.2m but only receives £5.8m, Midlothian receives £1.9m but needs £5.3m, and Aberdeen Council is given £6m by the executive but needs £12.1m.
Older people in some areas also have to wait far longer than those in others for assessments of their eligibility for free care and subsequently to receive their care package.
The median waiting times in the Shetland Islands area are 51 days for an assessment and 67 days to receive a care package following assessment.
Older people in Midlothian wait 63.5 days for an assessment and another 21.5 days for their care package, while in East Lothian the median waiting times are 51 days for an assessment and another 52 for care.
Some councils, including Glasgow, Dundee and South Ayrshire, were unable to provide figures on waiting times.
In June, the health committee reported that major problems in funding free personal care had to be resolved if the policy’s success was not to be undermined.