Independent Review Of Free Personal Care

The appointment of five members to work with Lord Sutherland on his Independent Review of Free Personal Care have been confirmed. Anne Jarvie, Mary Marshall, Professor David Bell, Jim Dickie and Rory Mair have accepted an invitation from Nicola Sturgeon to sit on the independent review group.

The independent review is being led by Lord Sutherland and will investigate the level and distribution of resources to councils to deliver the free personal and nursing care policy since 2002 and to ensure its future sustainability. The group will meet for the first time on September 3.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said she was determined not only to enhance free personal care provision, but to secure its place at the heart of the social care agenda. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed in June that free personal and nursing care payments would be increased from April 2008 in line with inflation.

Free personal care and nursing care were introduced in Scotland on 1 July 2002 through the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act. Personal care services, such as help with washing, dressing and getting in and out of bed are provided free of charge to those at home, whilst self-funding clients in care homes have payments made to the care home provider by their local authority on their behalf for personal and nursing care.

Over 50,000 older people across Scotland currently benefit from the free personal and nursing care policy – 42,101 received personal care services at home without charge, 9,117 people in care homes received £145 per week towards the cost of personal care services, of whom 5,895 received a further £65 for nursing care.

The members of the independent review group for free personal care are:

  • Lord Sutherland (Chair) who chaired the Royal Commission on Long Term Care of the Elderly
  • Anne Jarvie CBE is a former Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland
  • Mary Marshall OBE is the former Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre
  • Professor David Bell is the Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Stirling and Co-Director of the Scottish Economic Policy Network
  • Jim Dickie is a former Director of Social Work for North Lanarskshire Council and past President of the Association of Directors of Social Work
  • Rory Mair is the Chief Executive of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

The independent review has been asked to report by March 2008.