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Scottish Government asked to ensure free personal care for elderly

11 July 2008

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The British Medical Association has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that access to free personal care in Scotland is fair and equitable.

The call came this week as doctors gathered in Edinburgh for the Annual Representatives Meeting of the British Medical Association (BMA).

Proposing the motion, Dr Lewis Morrison, a consultant geriatrician from Lothian said: “Free personal care for the elderly was a flagship policy of Scotland’s first devolved parliament. This association has gone on record to support it as fair, humane and a proper way to treat the elderly in a civilised society.

“However, time has demonstrated that as local authorities have implemented this policy, there is large variation between them as to how eligibility is assessed and how quickly funding is allocated. There is in effect a postcode lottery in funding and allocation of free personal care.

“This policy remains the most just way of treating senior members of society who needs care but it must be implemented consistently and with all the necessary resources.”

The motion was overwhelmingly supported by conference and will now become BMA policy.

Following the debate, Dr Morrison said: “By passing this motion, the BMA conference sent a clear message to the Scottish Government to maintain free personal care, ensure it is properly funded and ensure local authorities allocate it equitably.”


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