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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The extension of Free Personal Care, also known as "Frank's Law" after the campaign led by footballer Frank Kopel's widow Amanda, came into force on 1 April 2019. This extended the right to personal care for free to those under the age of 65 who are assessed as needing it.


Personal care: this involves care of a personal nature. It can include activites such as help with eating, bathing and toileting. It can also include tasks such as assistance with reminders and managing behaviour. A fuller list of the types of care counted as personal care can be found on the Care Information Scotland website.

Financial quarter: a three month period of the financial year. Quarter 1 (Q1) lasts from April to June, Q2 from July to September, Q3 from October to December and Q4 from January to March.

Long stay care home resident: as defined in the Quarterly Monitoring Return, this includes all residents that Local Authorities are paying a contribution for on the last day of the financial quarter.

Local Authority funded resident: a resident with assets worth £28,500 or less whose care is publicly funded. These residents may still contribute to their care home fees from their pensions, capital and any other income.

Self-funding resident or self-funder: a resident with assets, including property, worth more than £28,500 who pay the total of their care home fees. These residents may be eligible for Free Personal Care and Free Nursing Care payments.

Free personal care payment: a set, weekly payment available to self-funding care home residents towards their personal care needs. The value of the payment has increased over time (as shown in Table 1) and was £180 in 2020-21.

Care at home: care provided by a professional social care worker in a person's own home. This can include personal care and other tasks such as help with shopping and cleaning.

Data Quality

The figures presented in this publication are based on data from the Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return. More information on this return is provided in the Data Source section.

For 2018-19 to 2020-21, data was received from every Local Authority. Although, some areas were unable to return all of the requested information. Once this data was prepared and collated, it was then sent to Local Authorities to validate prior to publication. At least partial responses to the validation exercise were received from 24 out of 32 Local Authorities. For those areas who did not respond, the original submitted figures were used where available. Where there were missing figures, estimation was applied.

Estimation of missing figures

Missing figures were estimated by calculating the total of all areas with a returned figure for the relevant quarters, as well as the percentage change between quarters. This percentage change was then applied to the relevant quarter to estimate the missing figures.

For example, if an area had provided data for all quarters except Q2 2019-20, the national rate of change between Q1 and Q2 would be applied to Q1 2019-20 to estimate the missing value. So, if the value in Q1 2019-20 was 100 and the rate of change between Q1 and Q2 was 5% then the estimated value for Q2 2019-20 would be 105.

If an area's figures were missing for the whole series due to unavailability of the information, then that area was not included in the final data since there were no figures to apply the percentage change to.

Estimation due to missing figures mainly affected the Care at Home information included in the publication, rather than the information on Care Homes. Missing figures were estimated for 7 out of 32 Local Authorities. Figures that have been estimated are noted in the accompanying data tables for this publication.

Estimation of expenditure figures

Data from the Quarterly Monitoring Return relates to the last week of each financial quarter. Therefore, in order to obtain estimated expenditure on personal care at home the cost of providing personal care was scaled up to the full quarter by taking the final week provided as an average weekly spend.

To estimate the expenditure on personal care at home for the full financial year, the mean of figures provided for the final weeks of all 4 financial quarters in 2019-20 and 2020-21 were taken to obtain an average weekly spend. This was then scaled up to the full year. For 2018-19, data was only provided for the final quarter and so this was used as the average weekly spend.

The estimated expenditure through Free Personal Care (FPC) payments to self-funding care home residents aged 18 – 64 was calculated by first multiplying the number of residents receiving payments in the final week of the quarter by the payment amount. The payment amount has increased each year, as shown in Table 1. For 2019-20 and 2020-21, the mean of figures provided for the final weeks of all 4 financial quarters was used to obtain an average weekly spend. These were then scaled up to a full year.

Expenditure information on FPC is also collected in the Scottish Government Local Financial Returns. However, it was determined that because the information lines on FPC for 18 – 64 year olds are new and completion is variable, it would be more appropriate to use the data from the Quarterly Monitoring Return for this publication.

This means that the expenditure information presented here cannot be compared to the expenditure figures presented in the Free Personal and Nursing Care, Scotland, 2020-21 publication, as the figures concern different types of expenditure based on different sources. However, the expenditure data from the Quarterly Monitoring Return has the benefit of being more closely linked to the activity data i.e. the number of people receiving personal care at home.

Data Source

All data in this publication is sourced from the Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return.

Since July 2002, the Scottish Executive - followed by the Scottish Government - has collected quarterly information on the number of people over the age of 65 receiving personal care services at home and the number of self-funders over the age of 65 receiving Free Personal Care (FPC) and Free Nursing Care (FNC) payments under the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002.

Up until 2011-12, this survey was conducted on a quarterly basis and the average of the four quarters was taken to produce an annual figure. However, from 2012-13 to 2018-19 this survey was conducted during the final quarter of the year only.

From 2019-20, this survey was updated to collect information on people aged 18 – 64 receiving Free Personal Care following the extension of the policy to people of all ages, and was once again collected on a quarterly basis.



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