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Extension Of Free Personal Care To People Under The Age Of 65, Scotland, 2020-21

Statistics release covering the extension of Free Personal Care (FPC) to people under the age of 65 in Scotland, also known as "Frank's Law".

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People aged 18 – 64 receiving Free Personal Care

The Scottish Government has collected information from Local Authorities on care home residents over the age of 65 since 2002 through the Quarterly Monitoring Return. This collection was modified to also cover 18 – 64 year old residents and people receiving personal care at home in light of the extension of Free Personal Care.

All figures in this section relate to the last week in each financial quarter apart from the number of long stay care home residents, which relates to the last day of each quarter. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

For reference, the first financial quarter of the year (Q1) lasts from April to June. The second (Q2) lasts from July to September, the third (Q3) lasts from October to December and the final quarter of the financial year (Q4) lasts from January to March.

Care Homes

The number of long stay residents aged 18 – 64 saw an increase of 8% between Q4 2018-19 (prior to the extension) and Q1 2019-20, but has since remained relatively stable at around 3,360 residents. These residents include Local Authority funded residents and self-funders. While Local Authority funded residents receive personal care for free as part of their funding, this will be part of the wider costs covered by the Local Authority and are not reported seperately.

Self-funders pay for their own care, but can receive weekly Free Personal Care (FPC) and Free Nursing Care (FNC) payments towards their personal and nursing care needs.

The number of self-funding residents aged 18 – 64 who received FPC payments increased with the formal extension of Free Personal Care. Between the last quarter prior to the extension and the first quarter of 2019-20, there was an increase of 25% from 90 residents to 110 residents. These numbers are relatively low since care home residents tend to be older. People under the age of 65 often receive care in their own homes rather than move to a care home.

In the last financial quarter (Q4) of 2020-21, around 120 residents were receiving FPC payments. This is in line with the Scottish Government's feasibility study into the extension of Free Personal Care where estimates suggested that there were, at most, around 120 younger adults who were self-funders. Around half of these residents also received FNC payments.

Figure 1. The number of self-funding residents aged 18-64 receiving FPC payments increased following the formal extension of Free Personal Care

Number of self-funding care home residents aged 18-64 receiving FPC payments, Scotland, Q4 2018-19 to Q4 2020-21

Source: Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return

Care at Home

People can also receive personal care services in their own home. In Q4 2020-21, around 12,110 people aged 18 – 64 received personal care at home compared to 10,550 people in Q4 2018-19. This is greater than the 9,805 people reported in Public Health Scotland's Insights Into Social Care publication for 18 – 64 year olds in Q4 2020-21. The Insights Into Social Care publication is an individual level data collection while the Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return is an aggregate collection, which may have contributed to the difference between the two. The Insights Into Social Care publication also reported an additional 110 people under the age of 18 who received personal care at home in Q4 2020-21.

The number of people aged 18 – 64 receiving personal care at home increased to around 12,000 people in mid 2019-20. This was then followed by a decrease around the start of 2020-21 with the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, numbers have since risen to over 12,000 people aged 18 – 64 receiving personal care at home in Q4 2020-21.

Figure 2. The number of people aged 18 – 64 receiving personal care at home has increased overall since the extension of Free Personal Care

Number of people receiving personal care and non-personal care at home, Scotland, Q4 2018-19 to Q4 2020-21

Source: Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return

Note 1: Numbers do not include Scottish Borders, as this information was unavailable.

Note 2: Numbers contain some estimation of missing values. See Data Quality section for further details.

As shown in Figure 2, the proportion of people aged 18 – 64 receiving care at home who receive personal care has remained stable since 2018-19, at around 75%. This is because the overall number of people receiving care at home has also increased over the time period. This may reflect a longer term shift to providing people with care in their own homes or a homely setting for as long as possible, in line with current social care support policy.

The average weekly hours of personal care provided (as calculated for the whole financial year) increased by around 40,350 hours (25%) between 2018-19 and 2019-20. However, this was then followed by a decrease of 19,580 hours (10%) in 2020-21.

While the number of people aged 18 – 64 receiving personal care at home also decreased at the start of 2020-21 with the onset of the covid pandemic, the number then rose throughout the year. However, the number of hours provided remained lower than the previous year.

Figure 3. The average weekly hours of personal care at home increased with the extension of Free Personal Care but decreased in 2020-21

Average weekly hours of personal care provided at home, Scotland, Q4 2018-19 to Q4 2020-21

Source: Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return

Note 1: Numbers do not include Glasgow City, Orkney Islands or Scottish Borders, as this information was unavailable.

Note 2: Numbers in Figure 3 contain some estimation of missing values. See Data Quality section for further details.

Contact

Email: SWStat@gov.scot

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