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Community care

There have been important recent developments in community care to help older people.The Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002is delivering major improvements in community care services.

The following is a brief summary of issues of particular interest to older people. For more information go to the Community Care section of the Health and Community Care topic.

Free Personal Care

On July 1 2002 free personal care was introduced for people aged 65 and over. This will mean an end to charging for personal care in the community. For more information see the Free Personal Care Website. Or to discuss your individual circumstances contact your local authority social work services.

Regulation Of Care And National Care Standards

The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care (the Care Commission) is now the independent regulator of a wide range of care services. It regulates and inspects care services taking account of the appropriate National Care Standards based on the principles of dignity, privacy, choice, safety, realising potential, equality and diversity.

For the first time, users and carers can rely on the same standard of service wherever they live. Care homes, day care, independent hospitals, private psychiatric clinics and some independent clinics are among the services already being regulated. A number of other services, including care at home, are to be regulated later.

Direct Payments

Direct Payments allow disabled people to purchase services to meet their community care needs instead of the local authority arranging services for them. If you are disabled, Direct Payments Scotland is the first stop for information about arranging your own community care services with direct payments from your local authority. Direct Payments Scotland was set up with funding from the Scottish Executive to help promote direct payments across Scotland. For more information check out their website.

Joint Working

Access to good quality care whether in people's own homes, in supported accommodation or in care homes is important. The Scottish Executive has asked health boards and local authorities to work together with the aim of delivering shorter routes to services and faster journeys along these routes. Single shared assessments, and joint resourcing and management of community care services for older people. The Joint Future Unit is a multi-disciplinary team responsible for the development and implementation on joint working between health, housing and social work.

Delayed Discharge

The Scottish Executive's Delayed Discharge Action Plan was announced on 5 March 2002. This sets out a wide range of short and long term measures to ensure significant, sustainable reductions in the number of people in Scotland waiting to move from hospital into more appropriate care settings.

As part of the first phase of action, the Executive provided an additional £20 million funding and local authority and NHS Board partnerships moved an extra 1,000 people from hospital to community settings. From 2003-04 £30 million will be invested to reduce waiting associated with delayed discharge.

The Executive will continue to focus on reducing delayed discharge in the acute sector, developing convalescent care, and national and local planning to ensure the right balance of health and social care services are there for people locally. For more information visit the Delayed Discharge topic area of this website.