Scots fail to quell food charge row

The Scottish executive’s response last week to the free personal care inquiry has failed to address two key issues undermining the policy, campaign groups have said.

Following a review of the policy, the Scottish health committee published a report in June calling on the executive to clarify whether food preparation could be charged for and to ensure those assessed as eligible for free personal care were not placed on long waiting lists.

Andy Sim, policy officer at Age Concern, attacked the executive’s response in which it insisted that a letter to social work directors in May had clarified the food preparation issue.

Sim said: “We, local authorities and the committee have called for a change in the guidance but we’re still not seeing it.”

Kate Fearnley, policy director at Alzheimer’s Scotland, said it planned to survey councils on food preparation to find out whether the executive’s letter had “got rid of the postcode lottery”.

Fearnley welcomed the executive’s commitment to increasing the long-term funding of the policy, but was disappointed that it had failed to spell out how it would tackle waiting lists.

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