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An Introduction to
Free Personal and Nursing Care

The Highland Council - Social Work Service
June 2002

Free Personal Nursing Care is being introduced across Scotland from 1st July 2002.  This is an introduction to the policy.

What is Personal Care?

Personal Care has been defined by the Scottish Executive.  Any care service which does not fall into this definition will continue to be charged for.   Subject to an assessment by the Social Work Service, Personal Care can include:-

  • Personal hygiene (e.g. bathing/showering).

  • Continence management (e.g. toileting/bed changing).

  • Food and diet (e.g. assistance with food preparation).

  • Problems of immobility (e.g. help to move around).

  • Counselling and support (e.g. reminder device).

  • Simple medication (e.g. creams/ eye drops).

  • Personal Assistance (e.g. dressing/going to bed).

You may still need to be financially assessed to contribute towards the cost of the following services:-

  • Community alarms.

  • Lunch clubs.

  • The cost of your accommodation and food if you are in a care home (a nursing home or a residential home).

How will the policy affect you?

If you are 65 or over and live at home and need help to pay for your care, you must ask the Social Work Service to assess your needs and agree a care package to meet those needs.  You will not have to pay for any Personal Care you receive.

If you already receive Personal Care services from The Highland Council, you will not have to pay for these from 1st July 2002.

If you have a private arrangement to meet your care needs and you wish The Highland Council to pay for the personal element, you must ask the Social Work Service to assess your needs.  The Social Work Service may then pay the provider for Personal Care, which you have been assessed as needing.  Payment can only be made to providers approved by The Highland Council.

Your eligibility for Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance is not changed.

You are 65 or over and have been in a Care Home since before 31st March 2002

  • If your costs are already being met from public funds there will be no change.

  • If you fully fund your own care you will be entitled to a contribution of 145 per week towards the cost of your Personal Care and a further 65 per week if you require nursing care.  This will be paid directly to the care home by the Social Work Service.

  • If the Social Work Service contribution towards your Care Home cost is less that 145 per week, it will be increased to 145, or 210 per week if you also require nursing care.

  • You will not be required to undergo an additional care needs assessment.

  • If you choose to receive the 145 contribution towards your Personal Care, you will no longer be eligible to receive Attendance Allowance or the Care Component of the Disability Living Allowance.  If you have been receiving either of these benefits you will have to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of the change in your circumstances.

You are 65 or over and go into a Care Home after 31 March 2002

  • Your care needs will have to be assessed, and you must ask the Social Work Service to do this.

  • The assessment will decide if you are eligible to receive Free Personal and Nursing Care payments.

  • If you subsequently receive any help from public funds towards the cost of your care, then your entitlement to Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance will end four weeks after the date of the first payment to the care home.

You are aged under 65 and live in a Care Home

  • You may be eligible for the Nursing Care Payment at 65 per week.   If you receive such a payment, then your entitlement to Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance is unchanged.

What to do next

If you are already in contact with a member of staff in the Social Work Services, they should be able to answer your questions about Free Personal and Nursing Care, or please contact The Highland Council's Freephone number on:-

0800 214 708

The helpline will operate from 4th June - 30th August 2002,
between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm, Monday - Friday