Older people ‘waiting up to a year’ for free personal care in Scotland

Older people are being forced to wait up to a year to be
assessed for free personal care, Age Concern has claimed.

The charity claims in a new report that a number of care homes
had raised their fees by up to £85 per week, negating
the benefit of free personal and nursing care to older people.

Some 70 per cent of councils, which took part in Age
Concern’s survey, knew homes where fees had risen since free
personal care was launched last July.

The report said some older people “were aware of price increases
in day care, meals-on-wheels and lunch clubs. Others, who were not
aware of increases as such, reported cuts in provision, mainly in
day care services”.

An Age Concern Scotland spokesperson said: “Waiting for an
assessment is taking too long in some areas. This could be used as
a way of rationing the provision of free care.”

But the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said Age
Concern’s survey “was out of date and inaccurate”.

Deputy health minister Frank McAveety said: “We do not recognise
the negative picture painted in this report.

“We have closely monitored the progress of free personal care
jointly with COSLA and implementation has been an overall success,”
he said.

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