A national eligibility framework for free personal care should be introduced in Scotland, according to a Audit Scotland report published today.
A free review of free personal and nursing care www.audit-scotland.gov.uk says councils are using different criteria, which means older people may recieve different levels of care depending on where they live.
It recommends that the government and councils work together to address ambiguities about what constitutes free personal care.
The report also warns that the system will need to be better funded in future as figures indicate that for 2005-6 there was a funding shortfall of between £46 and £63m.
Free personal and nursing care was implemented from July 2002 and by March 2007 and about 72,000 older people in Scotland were receiving personal care services free of charge.
The auditor general for Scotland Robert W Black said there needed to be better planning and funding of the policy, given that Scotland’s population of older people would continue to rise.
He added that the councils should provide clear information to older people about what they are entitled to under the policy.