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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 15:21 GMT
In quotes: Care policy report
Spending watchdog Audit Scotland has revealed that there is a funding shortfall of up to 63m on the government's free personal care policy.

It found that the scheme, which was introduced by the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition in 2002, differed from council to council.

Here is a selection of quotes from politicians and care delivery providers.

COUNCILLOR RONNIE McCOLL, COSLA

The Audit Scotland report confirms that there are legislative and policy issues to be addressed and provides independent validation of Cosla's position.

In order to resolve these issues, we have been working in partnership with the Scottish Government, which has indicated that it is willing to consider changes to the existing legislation, if necessary. The vast majority of older people who need free personal care get it and are happy with the care they receive, but we also recognise that we can do more.

THERESA FYFFE, RCN SCOTLAND

RCN Scotland supports the national policy of free personal and nursing care as an integral part of a mutual NHS. All those in need of professional support from registered nurses or health and social care support workers should receive high quality and timely services.

Audit Scotland's report recommends that the government and local councils should clarify the current ambiguities with the policy and ensure it is applied consistently across Scotland and we would endorse these recommendations. The government should also provide clear information to older people on what they are entitled to, to end the current uncertainty.

DAVID MANION, AGE CONCERN SCOTLAND

It is clear that even where older people are in receipt of free personal care they don't know much about it, they don't understand how charges are calculated for other chargeable services and they are very concerned about the reduction in the services which make a huge difference to their ability to cope.

Our survey revealed that even when free personal care is provided it is often very limited, including the rationing of a shower or bath to once a week for many of the people we spoke to.

ROSS FINNIE, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MSP

Liberal Democrats are proud of the integral part we played in introducing free personal care, a major social reform for this country. Six years have passed since free personal care was introduced and Audit Scotland has identified, as is to be expected, areas for improvement.

The Scottish Government must now work closely with local authorities to implement the recommendations. It is, however, absolutely critical that we do not lose sight of the enormous benefits that free personal care has brought to elderly people in Scotland.



SEE ALSO
Investing in Scotland's health
01 Feb 08 |  Scotland
'Life is good thanks to my carers'
01 Feb 08 |  Scotland
Minister backs costly care policy
01 Feb 08 |  Scotland
Brian Taylor blogs on care report
01 Feb 08 |  Scotland

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