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Pledge to scrap non-residential care charges

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Charges for services such as day care, lunch clubs, meals on wheels and monitoring alarms could be cut

Nicola Sturgeon has made a pre-election pledge to scrap social care changes.

The First Minister has promised to end council charges for home services such as day care, lunch clubs, meals on wheels, monitoring alarms, laundry services and aids and adaptations for the disabled.

In a speech at the SNP conference in Aberdeen this week, Sturgeon pledged to end non-residential charges.

She said: “The principle behind free personal care and free health care is the same - if you need help you should get it. Despite that principle many people – of all ages – still have to pay for non-residential social care services.

“I know from my own constituency experience that charges can be a barrier to people accessing the support they need. And if people can’t get that support in their own homes, they are more likely to end up in hospital.

“So I am making this promise – if I am re-elected as First Minister at the next Holyrood elections, then over the next parliament, the SNP will scrap all non-residential social care charges.”

Professor Ian Welsh, chief executive of the ALLIANCE, welcomed the move but called for a broader review of funding for social care.

He said: “Care charging uncompromisingly demands that those who are entitled to use non-residential care services pay more to achieve the same basic human rights. In some instances, this can lead to disabled people and people living with long term conditions deciding to forego much needed care and support, or going without other basic necessities in order to pay for care and support.

“Whilst we believe that social services should be universally free, and welcome moves to ensure that this policy is applied fairly to everyone who accesses non-residential care, we support a broader review into the funding of social care to ensure long term sustainability.”

 

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