Report casts doubts over free personal care costs

The Scottish executive has pledged to revisit the cost of
providing free personal care in Scotland after research found that
providing such care could cost the executive £130 million more
than first envisaged, writes Clare

New Asset  
Rhona Brankin

In the research, authors Margaret and Jim Cuthbert claimed they
were “primarily concerned” with the estimations for
care in the community that the introduction of free personal care
in Scotland was based on.

They went on to say that they were not content with the
estimates for residential care and care provided in nursing homes,
but that the figure for community-based personal care was based on
a “misreading” of evidence.

As a result the research concludes that the base cost of
£70 million for providing personal care in the community
should be increased by £18 million.

Based on revised estimates, the research also suggests that
original estimates could have been out by as much as £60
million per year and recommends increasing the longer-term cost of
care for older people by around £130 million by 2022.

Deputy health minister Rhona Brankin insisted the Care
Development Group developed costings at the start of the
implementation of the policy based on all the evidence available to

However she added: “We will examine the findings of this
new report along with the new figures from the executive’s
Care Development Group report in great detail and this will feed
into new research that we have commissioned on the cost of the

Brankin concluded that while the take-up and cost of free
personal care would continue  to be monitored, the policy benefited
thousands of older people and the executive “remained
absolutely committed” to delivering free personal and nursing
care to older people north of the border.


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