Social Policy and Society

Themed Section on the Costs of Long-Term Care for Older People

Free Personal Care for Older People in Scotland: Issues and Implications

Alison Bowes a1 and David Bell a2
a1 Department of Applied Social Science E-mail:
a2 Department of Economics, University of Stirling

Article author query
bowes a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bell d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Drawing on recent quantitative and qualitative research, we consider lessons of the Scottish policy of free personal care for older people. The policy is embedded in political debates about devolution and interacts with various changing policies on care and support for older people. Evaluation is complicated by these interactions and by gaps in relevant data, especially concerning costs. Operationally, policy implementation has presented varying difficulties for local authorities. For clients and informal carers it remains popular, but is part of a service-led model of provision which does not reflect their own views of their care and support needs.