Free Personal Care Implementation Advisory Group minutes: November 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Free Personal Care Implementation Advisory Group that took place on 14 November 2018.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance

  • David Fotheringham, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Fiona Hart, East Ayrshire H&SCP
  • George Bowie, Angus H&SCP
  • Chris Creegan, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability
  • Mike Liddle, Scottish Government
  • Jonathan Sharma, COSLA
  • Garrick Smyth, COSLA
  • Jane Johnstone, Scottish Government, Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser
  • Jennifer McCourt, Glasgow H&SCP
  • Yvette Burgess, Director of Housing Support and Enabling Unit
  • Morag Johnston, CIPFA Directors of Finance
  • Julie Rintoul, Scottish Government, Health and Social Care Analysis
  • Deirdre Henderson, People-led Policy Group (Adult Social Care Reform)


  • Dennis McLafferty, Social Work Scotland
  • Sharon Wearing, Glasgow H&SCP
  • Patrick Welsh, West Lothian H&SCP

Items and actions

Item 1: Welcome and apologies

David Fotheringham welcomed those present at the meeting and apologies were noted. David informed the group that representation by Social Work Scotland in place of Kenny Leinster, who has now retired, will be shared by Dennis McLafferty and Diane Fraser. 

Item 2: Previous minutes

The group agreed the draft minutes of 23 August 2018. 

General verbal update

David provided a verbal update on the work undertaken by the Finance sub-group since the last meeting. He noted that the Cabinet Secretary has agreed that implementation of the extension would be on a consistent basis as for over 65s. It had been proposed that the Cabinet Secretary would write to the Public Petitions Committee on this point. 

Item 3: Guidance update 

Susan thanked the group for their input and comments received whilst formulating the draft guidance over the past months. The guidance has been proof read, shared with members of the IAG for further comment and is now currently with Scottish Government Legal Department for final legal check. 

It is intended that the guidance will be ready for Ministerial approval at end of November and it is intended to share the guidance with local authorities during December 2018. 

Item 4: Finance assessment 

The IAG agreed at its meeting of 21 May 2018 to establish a Finance sub-group to provide advice on the financial aspects of the delivery of the extension of free personal care to adults. It was intended that this work would build on previous discussions undertaken by the main IAG. 

Over the summer the Finance sub-group met three times and worked collaboratively sharing papers and comments online. The estimates provided are based on extending free personal care on a consistent basis and approach as taken with free personal care for those aged over 65. 

The IAG group agreed that there are four elements of costs to consider specifically over the first year of the extension of free personal care to adults. These being; existing service users, additional demand, assessment process and self-funding residents living in residential care. 

Members of the IAG agreed with the Finance Sub-group findings relating to the estimated costs of each element. This will be considered as part of the Budget process.

Item 5: Communications plan 

Members discussed the proposed communications plan and made suggestions to be incorporated into the plan. It was agreed a final draft of the communications plan would be sent to members for comments electronically.

Item 6: Draft monitoring form

The group discussed the proposed monitoring form and the language entailed within it. It was agreed language of the form must be clear to ensure consistency across all local authorities. 

Local authority representatives expressed how challenging some of the data collection may be, particularly when trying to measure the amount of personal care being provided. However, it was agreed that the specified data should be collected as this will be necessary to provide relevant costs for each local authority of providing free personal care for all adults.  

It was suggested that the form be expanded to collect data for different client categories such as learning disability. This data should be readily available.

It was agreed a final draft of the monitoring form would be sent to members for comments electronically. 

Members also agreed areas represented within the IAG will carry out pilots of monitoring, prior to general release of the monitoring form to all other local authorities. 

It was agreed that a letter from COSLA and SG to local partnerships stressing the importance of this data collection would be helpful in getting a full response and moving to quarterly data collection.  In particular it was noted that the data collection will be beneficial to local areas as it will demonstrate how much they are spending on personal care for under 65s.

Item 7: AOB

The group agreed to work collaboratively electronically and meet again at the end of January 2019. A date will be fixed for a future meeting to be held 6 months after implementation to discuss areas relating to monitoring the implementation of free personal care to all adults.

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