Scotland to fund free personal care

The Scottish executive has announced that it has allocated the
resources to fund free personal care.

Finance and local government minister Angus Mackay announced the
allocation of £200 million of new money plus an additional
£289 million “realigned” from other budget.

But detailed proposals on meeting the cost of free personal are
still to come. MacKay said: “This money goes well beyond simply
delivering free personal care, allocating more than £432
million to our main priorities of health and education.”

Age Concern Scotland described the decision as “extremely
welcome”. But the organisation’s director, Maureen O’Neill,
commented: “We will, however, not know exactly which elements of
care will be free until the Care Development Group publishes its
definition of personal care in August.

“Now that the money has been promised, the Care Development
Group should make sure that its definition of care covers all the
very personal tasks that are so necessary to basic human dignity –
help with dressing, eating, bathing and going to the toilet.”
O’Neill described this definition of care as “the very minimum
which the vast majority of Scotland’s pensioners will find

Meanwhile, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities is
demanding immediate extra funds from the Scottish executive in an
attempt to divert the growing private care crisis.

Cosla’s social work spokesperson Rita Miller said: “We are
determined to protect Scotland’s elderly by finding a working
solution to the current problems faced in this area.” The
convention is calling for top-up funds for this year to allow
negotiations with Scottish Care, which represents the majority of
private home owners, to proceed.

But Cosla made it clear they were not simply conceding to
Scottish Care’s argument for an additional £50 per resident
per week and that a longer term solution had to be found.

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