Legislation was put in place in June 2018 to enable any adult who is eligible for personal care to be free from charge, regardless of their age, condition, socio-economic status or marital status. The extension of free personal care will include young adults (16 – 18 year olds). This legislation comes into force on 1 April 2019.
The Scottish Government issued guidance to local authorities on 21st December 2018. This guidance replaces the Free Personal and Nursing Care in Scotland guidance dating back to 2003 (circular CCD5/2003).
The definition of ‘personal care’ and ‘personal support’ remains unchanged as set out in the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 Schedule 1 and The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2019 Schedule 12, Section 20. The 2002 Act requires that neither ‘personal care’ nor ‘personal support’ should be charged for and this will continue to apply.
Personal care includes:
- personal hygiene, bathing, washing
- food preparation (but not supply of food)
- assisting with medication eg applying creams or lotions, applying dressings
- getting dressed
- getting in and out of bed
- dealing with problems associated with immobility as they impact on carrying out personal care tasks
- behaviour management / support
Personal support includes:
- counselling as part of a planned programme of care
Whilst equipment and adaptations do not generally come within this legislation, memory and safety devices designed to help a person manage their own personal care are included eg reminder systems to help people take medication; movement sensors for light control.
Personal Care and Personal Support can be provided at home or in a care home setting. When it is provided in a care home, a national rate is paid by the local authority rather than actual cost.
Read the Unit’s Free Personal Care briefing