As of 01 April, the expansion of free personal care to anyone who is assessed as requiring it came into force.
The legislation is often referred to as ‘Frank’s Law’ after former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel who was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59 and sadly died six years later in 2014.
Until now, the provision of free personal care, applied to those aged 65 or older. Now, anyone assessed by North Ayrshire Council or any other local authority as requiring personal care will now receive it free of charge, regardless of their age, condition, capital or income.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“I’m very pleased that we have introduced this legislation, ensuring that all those who require personal care are able to access it free of charge, regardless of their age, condition or income.
“This change will help thousands of people across Scotland receive the support that they are entitled to without being impacted financially.
“I’d like to thank Amanda Kopel, Frank’s widow, for her tireless work bringing to light the issues of personal care for under 65s. She has ensured this remained prominent in the public’s mind and she should feel very proud that it is now being delivered.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“We’ve made the necessary changes to the law, and issued clear guidance to local authorities, to clearly set out the expansion of free personal care.
“To ensure this is delivered we’ve backed this with £30 million of new funding to local authorities across Scotland. This is a step change in the provision in personal care in Scotland and we’ll continue to work with our colleagues in councils to ensure it is delivered in full.”
Kenneth Gibson added:
“While certain conditions have a propensity for affecting older people, such as dementia, there are over 3,000 patients in Scotland who are not quite 65 years old. Expanding free personal care to them is absolutely the right thing to do.
“Personal care includes support with personal hygiene, issues with mobility, food preparation and support at mealtimes and assistance with dressing or getting in or out of bed.
“The provision of free personal care is a flagship policy for the SNP and I am pleased that more people across North Ayrshire and Scotland will now be able to access this important service.”