Intended for healthcare professionals


Scotland tries to contain costs of free personal care for older people

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 31 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:238
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

    Evidence shows that rationing is being introduced in Scotland to control rising demand for free personal care for older people.

    Three quarters of Scottish local authorities have introduced eligibility criteria or set priority levels for access to the service. Scotland is the only part of the United Kingdom that provides people older than 65 with free personal care, which includes help with washing, dressing, and feeding.

    A review by Audit Scotland has found that central funding for the policy now fails to meet the costs borne by councils, with the shortfall estimated at £46m-63m (€62m-€85m; $91m-$125m) in 2005-6. The report …

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