Recently, a big victory was won by people with debilitating conditions who required additional care, but were previously unable to qualify due to their age. Under Scotland’s social care system, those aged 65 and over qualify for free health and personal care. While a good concept, it was discriminatory. Thousands of people under the age of 65 who have dementia and other debilitating conditions which require expensive personal care, were not included in the plan.
To Amanda Kopel, wife of the late Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel, that didn’t seem fair. When caring for her husband, who was diagnosed with dementia, she was forced into financial hardship because her husband was not entitled to the same free personal care as over-65s receive. Thus began a six-year fight which resulted in the recent passing of Frank’s Law.What Is Frank's Law?
The Scottish Government introduced Frank's Law on 1 April 2019. Frank’s Law ends age discrimination in the care system and extends free personal care for those with debilitating conditions to under-65s. Backed by local newspapers, Ms Kopel launched her campaign back in 2013 to abolish personal care charges her family struggled with.
The personal care covered under Frank's Law includes things like assistance with dressing, feeding, washing and toileting. With the introduction of Frank's Law, anyone aged under 65 who received personal care packages were no longer charged for any part of their service that was assessed as personal care. The Scottish Government allocated £30 million to local authorities to deliver Frank’s Law in the 2019-20 Budget and to cover these additional expenses.The Implementation Of Frank’s Law
Under the new policy, it is estimated that up to 9,000 people across Scotland will benefit. When asked how she felt about Frank's Law being passed, Amanda Kopel stated, “I hope promises are kept to ensure that everyone who needs the care receives it. There can be no postcode lottery, no excuses when it comes to people’s lives. I ask that people have a little patience when it comes to the implementation of Frank’s Law because I am aware that any new system takes time to work.” Now, what’s important is that local authorities throughout Scotland act to make sure that those who need Frank’s Law receive the care and support services they need, when the need them.
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