Frank's Law concerning council personal care charges in Scotland

This topic contains 10 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Winston 1 month ago.

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  • #95160 Reply

    callmejohn

    On the 1st of April 2019, Frank’s Law came into effect in Scotland. This is where, as part of the council’s Charging Policy, they can no longer make charges for people under 65 for Personal Care, the same as it has been for people 65 and over. This covers all SDS (Self Directed Support) options, whether you get an SDS budget to higher your own staff , use Council Care Staff or a Care Agency.

    The Law is known as Frank’s Law, after the Dundee United football player, Frank Kopel who took Dementia in 2008 and because he was under pension age he was charged by his council for his personal care. Frank and his wife Amanda, became figure heads for various bodies, who were fighting against what was described in Scotland as the Care Tax. Sadly Frank Kopel died in April 2014, five years before the Law came into force, however his wife Amanda kept on the fight for the benefit of others.

    In anticipation of the Law coming into force and being aware that councils would lose income on their Charging Policy, (although not all councils charged for Personal Care in Scotland), The Scottish Government in 2018 gave councils in Scotland a total of £30 million pounds as a form of compensation.

    So the spirit of the Law should be that councils can no longer charge for Personal Care, after the 1st of April 2019. Unfortunately council’s were left by the Scottish Government to police this Law, which has turned into a Post Code Lottery, with some councils such as Fife Council and North Lanarkshire Council continuing to give full care free of charge to their SDS constituents. However other councils under the umbrella of  the Cosla Charging Policy 2019-2020, have decided to do their own thing, to such extremes that South Ayreshire Council has decided to use their slice of the £30 million to put to other uses, instead of using it to provide free Personal Care.

    As a constituent of South Lanarkshire Council, I have been told that instead of me paying £277 every 4 weeks for my overall Care Package, they can no longer charge me for my Personal Care, however as I had a large package which gives me 52 hours (up from 48 hours last year) of care a week, they will now be charging me £300 per 4 weekly. So while my Personal Care can no longer be charged, my overall package (all be it up 4 hours per week) is now going to cost me an extra £23 every four weeks, as the council have calculated that my Personal Care only accounts for just over 50% of my overall care. They count the rest as social care, therefor they are allowed to charge me. Where South Lanarkshire’s over £1.7 million share of the overall £30 million went, or is going is still open to scrutiny.

    There lies the problem, as a 62 year Spina Bifida/ Paraplegic, who used to walk in calipers and crutches since I was three, until I broke my leg (not the same as a normal person breaking a leg, it was life changing) at work at 48, after working as a Civil Servant/Trade Unionist for 27 years, I am now left very dependent on the support of my two loyal PA’s/carers for the last 8 years, to not only look after my very personal and extensive medical care but to also enable me to get out and about, as I need them to load and unload the wheelchair in the car and give me a push in my wheelchair when my energy runs out. I also rely on them for cooking meals and cleaning the house, as I have no immediate family.

    However the definition of Personal Care, under the Cosla (who are basically a union for councils ) guidelines, Personal Care is very restrictive, amounting to washing, dressing, medical care management in the home only, heating or preparing a basic quick meal and helping to feed the person. Almost what a council’s Home Care workers would do in a limited half hour/ hour visit for infirm pensioners in their own home. But certainly not covering the needs of what SDS was designed to cover, such as the need for a home prepared and cooked meal, or a visit to a restaurant, cinema, hospital/doctors/dentist appointment’s (of which there are many as a disabled person), shopping and picking your own food. Or any housework such as washing and cleaning a house to keep it germ free, that any able bodied person takes for granted as part and parcel of living in their own home, but may be out of the scope for a severely disabled person (who is often more pron to infection) to carry out.

    I would suggest that the disabled person asks for a copy of their joint Community Care Assessment which should be agreed by both the disabled person and the social worker and also a copy of their council’s Charging Policy. They can also contact SDS advisory bodies such as Self Directed Support Network South Lanarkshire (which I am chair of) or Take Control Hamilton, or Spaen for North Lanarkshire or GSIL for Glasgow citizens.  There will also be other bodies spread throughout Scotland who carry out a similar service, your council libraries or the internet should be able to point you in the right direction.

    Sadly however Frank’s Law has turned out to be a damp squid and a bit of a con, with councils simply claiming that there will be some winners and some looser affected by Frank’s Law. With an extra £30 million put into the fund across Scotland and remembering that the whole Law is based on eradicating Personal Care Charges for Disabled people under 65, I fail to see how anybody could be left with increased charges, due to Frank’s Law. The fight continues.

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  • #95166 Reply

    Winston

    Hi John,

    thank for taking the time and compose such a detailed message , I’m sorry to hear that you’ll actually be out of pocket with your new care plan!

    my local authority West Dunbartonshire is still charging to date

    ive been in touch with SDS Ideas who advised there is about 300 disabled residents in West Dunbartonshire in receipt of SDS in the same position as myself being charged ,  but had no idea when Franks Law would actually be implemented here

    my package is 15 hours per week personal care which I pay £244 every 4 weeks towards, so it’s quite a chunk of my available funds.

    ive also spoke with SDS Scotland but again they had no real knowledge and suggest I write to my Msp

    i even made up a twitter account for the sole purpose of contacting the First Minister and WDC which I’ve done over and over but no reply

    my social worker is in the dark, I spoke to to the SDS dept in my local authority and their response was “what’s Franks Law” and directed me back to my social worker

    I don’t want to say too much or name names on here but I know the top man in charge of approving changes to budgets/financial care packages in my local authority is a nitemare

    ie my SDS has been agreed , committee approved and it took almost a year for him to OK and authorise payment, despite numerous contacts by my social worker

     

    #95170 Reply

    callmejohn

    That’s a hell of  an mount to be paying for only 60 hours each 4 weekly period, I thought I was bad having to pay 23% (after rent/rates and house insurance deductions) of my usable (for luxuries. such as heating and eating) income.

    I am afraid you were mislead by both SDS Scotland and your council on their response to Frank’s Law. SDS Scotland was on the conciliation board of Frank’s Law run by the Scottish Government and your council will have received their share of the £30 million, which you can find out just how much that is for your council by making a Freedom of Information request to the council, that’s what we did.

    Any council that has been charging for Personal Care since April should repay the money, however as I have said, the council’s are trying to get round this by charging extra for Social Care. If any council says that they  do not know what Frank’s Law is, then you should put in an official complaint to the council because they have had plenty of time to train there staff and especially SDS staff in the Law and they also must be stashing the cash instead of reducing peoples contribution charges to their care. It may also be worth putting in an FOI request as to how they are spending their share of the £30 million.

    Good Luck Winston and if I can be of any further assistance,you know where to find me.

    #95171 Reply

    Winston

    That’s what I thought but I’m on the highest band contribution wise band 10 or something , been paying that for a few years now , hardly sitting here with a wallet  that would choke a horse lol

    I don’t get any social care ( but I would like some tbh ) so it’s all personal care that I receive and contribute towards at present

    tbh there isn’t anyone that I know of in this area or an organisation to reach out to for help

    i only found out about SDS through an old neighbour who receive it , I might catch up with them this week and see what we can come out with

    thanks again for the info John and I might just have to take you up on your offer at some point!

    I wonder if anyone else in here receives SDS and lives in Bonnie Scotland?

     

    #95173 Reply

    callmejohn

    Winston, as you are clearly only getting enough hours (just over 2 hrs a day) for Personal Care, then it should make it more straight forward for you to get your charges not only stopped but refunded back to the start of April this year. It may need you to put in an official complaint to the council.

    As for how long it took to get SDS, in the first place, that was the same for all our committee, we all thought it was only happening to us as individual’s, that we were having to fight for a couple of years to get SDS, until we became a network and we realised that it was actually a council policy to deter people from getting SDS and use their in house services instead.

    If you had enough (a few) of you that wanted to start up an SDS Network West Dunbartonshire, we (SDS Network South Lanarkshire) would be willing to meet you and advise you how to get started. Your’e Network could also become a member of SDS Scotland as we did. we have Mark from SDS Scotland who comes to our six weekly committee meetings on an advisory bases.

    #95248 Reply

    Winston

    It’s shocking that they can pass the law , announce it to the world claiming to be the champion of social justice and equality etc, but have no set rules or regs in place to roll it out etc

    I don’t know anyone in this area who receives SDS bar my old neighbour and she’s about 136 lol, no I jest she’s only 3/4 of that. But if I was able to get a few others on board that would be something positive to do on behalf of everyone in my area, so thank you very much for that offer

    it’s def something I will look into

    They don’t make it easy for us eh?

    thanks again for taking the time to post on this matter

    #95257 Reply

    Callmejohn

    No Bother Winston and good luck.

    #95824 Reply

    callmejohn

    Are there any disabled claimants any where in Scotland, receiving SDS (self directed payments) from their local council.

    Can you please tell me if there has been any change in your care package charges since Frank’s Law has came into force on the 1st April 2019 and if you have received a reassessment in your care package and/or your charges since 1st April 2019. .

    #96211 Reply

    Winston

    I was hoping there would be a few members that this applied to

    John, when did your local authority stop charging for personal care?

    #96288 Reply

    callmejohn

    Hi Winston, I was surprised that there was so little (no) feedback, but my contribution was only to assist people if they needed it.

    The official answer to your question was, Frank’s Law officially came into effect, on the 1st April 2019 and that was never meant to be an April Fool stunt carried out by the Scottish Government.

    As to when each council on an individual bases, carried it out, I honestly do not know, but any new applications should have been based on Frank’s Law and any existing SDS claimants, should have been reassessed in the following 6 months.

    However, at a Self Directed Support Network, South Lanarkshire meeting today, I was told that the Scottish Government was  already enlightened by a disabled body, that there could be a loophole, which consequently was borne out to happen, that enabled councils in Scotland, to be able to simply police their own policy or totally opt out like South Ayrshire council.

    So the answer, unfortunately is that the Scottish Government have accepted their own Act, all be it knowing fine well that it was flawed, which was pointed out by another disabled body, who were on their consolation committee. It has never the less come into effect on the 1st April 2019. however it is up to local councils to get through their own list of SDS claimants. But they should re-pay the back money that they should never have charged since 1st April 2019, as said previously,

    Unfortunately due to the loop hall, it is no longer clear how disabled people in Scotland can no longer expect to be charged for their higher personal care.

     

     

    #96295 Reply

    Winston

    Yeah I was hoping some other members would have some positive news regarding their local authorities in relation to Franks Law

    the reason I asked when your local authority stopped charging for personal care is because I’m going to get in touch my local MP tomorrow , so it would be good to have some examples of dates when other Councils ( even one ) actually rolled it out, so I could show her how far behind and incompetent our local authority is

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