In 2016-17, a total of £31,740,000 was spent on providing free personal and nursing care (FPNC) in North Ayrshire - an increase of 57% since the SNP came into office in 2007, the latest SNP Government statistics show.
This cost is met by North Ayrshire Council through the annual grant from the SNP Government which this year is a record £275,273,000.
In 2016-17, there were 920 long-stay residents in care homes in North Ayrshire, while 1,620 people aged 65+ received a personal care service in their own home, receiving an average of 7 hours a week of free care.
As the only UK nation which provides free personal and nursing care, Scotland’s spending on care at home and care home packages reached £502 million in 2016/17.
FPNC care home residents aged 65 and over who are assessed as self-funders can receive a weekly payment of £171 towards their personal care and people of all ages who live in care homes and are assessed as self-funders can receive a weekly payment of £78 for nursing care. Care home residents who are funded by their Local Authority receive all of their personal care free. In addition, people aged 65 and over can no longer be charged for personal care services provided in their own home.
The SNP Government has also committed to the extension of FPNC to all people aged under 65 who are assessed as needing it, by 01 April next year.
The rising costs of FPNC are driven by a number of factors such as the move towards older people being cared for at home, rather than in hospital or care homes; increased instances of home care workers providing personal care services rather than domestic services and the increasing levels of need of people living at home.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Scotland continues to be the only UK nation providing free personal and nursing care.
“In 2018-19, the SNP Government provided an additional £66 million to local authorities to support the implementation of the Carers Act, to maintain payment of the real living wage, and increase payments for free personal and nursing care. Protection and the care of some of our most vulnerable citizens remains a high priority.”