Scots probe cost of free personal care

    The Scottish executive has promised to examine claims that it has
    seriously underestimated the cost of free personal care in
    Scotland.

    New research finds that original costings by the executive’s Care
    Development Group, chaired by the then deputy health minister
    Malcolm Chisholm, were based on flawed research in relation to the
    number of older disabled people in private households in
    Scotland.

    This and other “dubious” assumptions resulted in a £60m
    shortfall in estimates for the initial cost of the introduction of
    free personal care in Scotland, claims research published by the
    Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University.

    In the longer-term, it warns that an additional £130m will
    need to be set aside by 2022 to cover costs of the scheme.

    Deputy health minister Rhona Brankin said free personal care
    remained one of the Scottish parliament’s greatest achievements,
    and that initial costings had been based on all available
    evidence.

    “We will examine the findings of this new report along with the
    figures from the executive’s care development group report and this
    will feed into new research that we have commissioned on the cost
    of the policy,” she said.

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