You are here

Scotland's free personal care policy remains in the spotlight

29th August 2006

The Scottish Executive has admitted that its policy of free personal care for the elderly is in disarray.

Ministers have conceded that there is confusion over what the policy does and does not cover, such as help with preparing meals.

Responding formally to a report by the Holyrood health committee, the Executive "accepted" many of the report's recommendations, but said that it is already working with councils to produce a new funding formula.

"We agree that aspects of the policy may need to be communicated or delivered more effectively," says the official response.

Lewis Macdonald, the deputy health minister, told the Scotsman that nearly 50,000 older people had benefited from the policy so far: "Not surprisingly, however, there have been some teething problems with the implementation of this policy that need to be sorted out," he said.

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party claim that the policy has done more harm than good for some older people, as waiting lists have risen.