Pledge to scrap council fees for at home care

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 15th October 2019

Reports suggest the Scottish National Party (SNP) plan to scrap a raft of social care fees.

According to the Herald (this link will take you away from our website), Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Scotland’s First Minister, will promise to end council charges for home services such as day care, lunch clubs, meals on wheels, monitoring alarms, laundry services and aids and adaptations.

In an address to the SNP’s conference on 15 October 2019 (this link will take you away from our website), Ms Sturgeon said:

“The principle behind free personal care is the same as free health care – if you need help you should get it. But despite that principle many people – of all ages – still have to pay for non-residential social care services. I know from my own constituency experience that charges can be a barrier to people accessing the support they need. And if they can’t get that support in their own homes, they are more likely to end up in hospital.

So today, I make this pledge. If I am re-elected as First Minister at the Holyrood elections, then over the next parliament, the SNP will scrap non-residential social care charges for all.”

The ALLIANCE has long called for the removal of non-residential social care charges, adding our support to a member’s bill in the name of Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon during the last Parliament.

Commenting on the move, ALLIANCE Chief Executive Professor Ian Welsh OBE said:

“Care charging uncompromisingly demands that those who are entitled to use non-residential care services pay more to achieve the same basic human rights. In some instances, this can lead to disabled people and people living with long term conditions deciding to forego much needed care and support, or going without other basic necessities in order to pay for care and support.

Whilst we believe that social services should be universally free, and welcome moves to ensure that this policy is applied fairly to everyone who accesses non-residential care, we support a broader review into the funding of social care to ensure long term sustainability.”

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