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Free personal care ruled out

11 March 2011

Andrew Dilnot, chair of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, tasked with reforming the care funding system, this week ruled out state funded free personal care for all on the grounds that it would be unsustainable and would not be resilient. Free personal care was pledged by Gordon Brown in September 2009 in order to allow the frailest to be cared for in their own homes. Personal care is currently free for people over the age of 65 in Scotland who have been assessed by their council as needing it and concerns have been raised that this is too costly.

In its place a ‘partnership’ approach will be put forward by the Commission. This will involve state resources but also informal carers and individuals and will be underpinned by insurance. But will this reliance on the help of volunteers ensure appropriate care for all? Many experts say that this insurance would only be effective if compulsory as a voluntary system is unlikely to have sufficient take up.

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support’s final report is due to be published in July this year.

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