Free personal care extension welcomed

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Arran MSP Kenneth Gibson has welcomed the extension of free personal care in Scotland, which not available elsewhere in the UK.

The new legislation is known 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 Scottish local authority as requiring personal care will now receive it free of charge, regardless of their age, condition, capital asset or income.

Mr Gibson said: ‘While certain conditions impact more on older people, such as dementia, there are over 600 people across Ayrshire and Arran who are not quite 65 years old who also have the condition. Expanding Free Personal Care to them is absolutely the right thing to do.

‘For people in care homes, the SNP government increased personal care payments so that residents are now entitled to £177 per week for their care provider. North Ayrshire Council currently supports 1,590 people with Free Personal Care at home and 320 in care homes.

‘The success of Mrs Kopel shows that in Scotland, grassroots campaigns which begin with a simple petition can deliver real change. It is a testament to both the strong will and determination of campaigners and the robustness of Holyrood’s democratic parliamentary system.

‘I am delighted that more people in Arran, Ayrshire and across Scotland will now be able to access this important service.’