Free care ‘guaranteed’ as Scots launch ageing society debate

The Scottish government today launched a debate on meeting the future costs of social care for older people, but has pledged to retain the flagship free personal care policy.

Its Reshaping Care for Older People programme will involve a series of public meetings to discuss how the country will handle the challenge of ageing, which would see care costs for older people rise from £4.5bn to £8bn by 2031 without reform.

Public health minister Shona Robison said: “Let me be absolutely clear – we are firmly committed to free personal care, and to making sure every older person who needs care gets it. But our older population is likely to increase by around two thirds in the next two decades, and as a country we will need to change the ways in which we deliver care. Now is the time to have this national debate.”

The Scottish National Party government’s backing for free personal care follows longstanding concerns about its current and future affordability

The news comes with the UK government about to publish a white paper on the future of adult care in England, and the Welsh government having consulted on a green paper on reform in Wales.

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