Care Funding In Scotland

Posted on: 13 October 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Mrs Whiting asks solicitor Cate Searle about NHS continuing care in Scotland for her husband with dementia.

Cate Searle from Martin Searle Solicitors answers your questions on the intricacies of obtaining care home funding and the avenues you can take if your case has been refused.

Mrs Whiting asks:

I wonder if you can help. My husband was diagnosed two years ago with dementia. He has just turned 54 years of age.

I am trying to find out about NHS continuing care in Scotland. He has deteriorated rapidly over the past four months. He isn’t stable. He has myoclonic jerks and now seizures, and he is jerking a lot as well. He deteriorates with every seizure.

In two years he has gone from needing ten hours a week care which never changed, to now being told he needs 168 hours a week care, in the last four months. I’ve been told he doesn’t qualify but got no explanation as to why. I also haven’t seen or been given his assessment or care plan, and I have never been informed of his medication changes. I really don’t know what’s going on. He has deteriorated rapidly whilst he has been in hospital.

Cate says:

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Cate Searle is from Martin Searle Solicitors:

I am afraid that my expertise in the area of NHS continuing care relates to the rules in England and Wales, as I practice law in England, rather than Scotland, where different rules and guidance applies.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has produced its own guidance on free personal and nursing care, and the Community Care and Helath (Scotland) Act 2002 defines the care for which local authorities should not charge.

The basic rules in Scotland are that people aged 65 or over are not charged for personal care, whereas in England they are charged for “personal care” unless they have predominant health needs. The local authority determines how much free care will be received by any individual. However, I note that you say that your husband is 54 years old so this does not assist him or you. Unfortunately, such information that I do have about charging for care in Scotland is very basic and only relates to those over 65 years of age.

You should ask for the following in writing:

  1. An explanation of why he does not qualify for any funding or full funding as appropriate
  2. A copy of his most recent care plan

You should then contact the Law Society of Scotland and ask if they can give you the names of specialist advisers in this area of law.

I am very sorry that I am not able to assist you further myself and I wish you the best in resolving the problems.

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