Councils charging terminally ill for care

Right-to-die campaigner Diane Pretty was terminally ill with motor neurone disease Right-to-die campaigner Diane Pretty was terminally ill with motor neurone disease

Related Stories

Some Scottish councils are charging terminally ill people for personal care when they should get it for free, according to the charity Motor Neurone Disease Scotland.

One council - East Ayrshire - will only waive the charge if someone is expected to live for less than four weeks.

Personal care is free to anyone aged over 65 who is assessed as needing it.

The Scottish government said terminally ill people should not be charged for care.

Start Quote

Social Care Services are based on assessed need, and not on the basis of a person's specific medical condition”

End Quote Eddie Fraser East Ayrshire Council

East Ayrshire Council said that while it had "every sympathy" for terminally ill people requiring personal care it believed any charges should be based on specific care need for individuals.

Free personal care can include a range of assistance from bathing and showering to catheter/stoma care or help with preparing food.

About 130 people in Scotland are diagnosed with MND each year.

Because of its poor prognosis, fewer than 400 people have the illness at any one time.

People diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease live for an average of just 14 months, and often quickly lose the ability to walk, speak, feed themselves and breathe unaided.

But charity MND Scotland said too many of them were being charged for their personal care needs.

No clear policy

Some councils, such as the Western Isles and West Lothian, have no clear policy on when to charge, according to the charity.

Cosla said it believed that local charging policies should not be applied to people with terminal illnesses and would work closely with local health boards to provide a better, integrated service across all health boards.

Cllr Peter Johnston, Cosla's health and well-being spokesman, said: "Councils will work with their NHS partners at the local level to identify at what point a person is considered to be terminally ill, and this will vary from person-to-person and between different conditions."

He added: "As we move forward with health and social care integration, local authorities and health boards will be working together to improve the supports available to individuals and their families in the end stages of life."

MND Scotland said some local authorities would waive charges if a person had a letter or DS1500 form from their doctor.

Other local authorities may not accept a doctor's letter or DS1500 and choose to keep it a "grey area", allowing for "discretion".

These include Argyll and Bute, Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire, Orkney and West Dunbartonshire.

'Assessed need'

According to MND Scotland, East Ayrshire charges unless the person receiving care can prove they have less than four weeks to live.

Start Quote

The Scottish government is clear that people who are terminally ill should not be charged for their care”

End Quote Scottish government spokeswoman

Eddie Fraser, director of health and social care at East Ayrshire council, said: "Whilst we have every sympathy for people with such a medical situation, we believe that East Ayrshire Council Charging Framework is being applied in a fair, equitable and consistent manner and is in line with the principles contained within the National Guidance for Non Residential Social Work Services.

"Social Care Services are based on assessed need, and not on the basis of a person's specific medical condition.

"Charges are based on a financial assessment which identifies the amount of accessible weekly income to be used for charging purposes. No service user is left in financial hardship as a result of any charge applied."

MND Scotland is calling on councils to follow Cosla's guidance and is urging the Scottish government to update legislation to force them to provide free personal care for the terminally ill.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "The Scottish government is clear that people who are terminally ill should not be charged for their care.

"We are working closely with Cosla's charging guidance group to ensure that this is the case for everyone in Scotland and that there is consistency across all local authorities.

"We want to ensure that everyone who requires care, has access to the highest standards of care in every setting, their own home or a care home.

"That is why we are integrating health and social care to provide a more responsive and joined-up service for all those who require care."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland stories

RSS

Scotland Live

  1.  
    10:08: Travel disruption BBC Scotland Travel Latest
    • Perth and Kinross - C423 is closed at Aberbothrie due to flooding.
    • Accident around a mile north of junction 20 - the Eaglesfield junction - of the northbound A74(M) means the road is closed at the scene.
    • ScotRail - possible disruption between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley following flooding at Addiewell, although all lines have now re-opened.
    • Trains between Dumfries and Kilmarnock cancelled due to flooding at Mauchline. Replacement transport has been arranged.
    • Airports in London are warning of possible disruption to flights due to of high winds. Check with your airline.
     
  2.  
    09:49: BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Southern and central areas will be cloudy with further outbreaks of rain, which will be heavy at times especially across Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway where there is a continued risk of flooding.

    A brighter day further north, with showers in the north west and Northern Isles turning wintry on the hills, while much of the north east will stay dry with some sunshine.

    During the afternoon, Argyll and the central belt will become drier.

    A mild day in the south with temperatures up to 10C but colder in the north.

     
  3.  
    09:35: River search

    A major search and rescue operation is continuing along the banks of the River Nith in Dumfries.

    River Nith

    It follows reports of a man having gone into the water close to the Nithsdale Rowing Club boathouse.

    The alarm was raised in the early hours.

    The operation has involved a Royal Navy helicopter, the Nith Inshore lifeboat team, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland.

     
  4.  
    09:26: Rangers share issue plan

    Rangers hope to be given the go-ahead to launch a new share issue at the club's AGM today.

    Rangers chairman David Somers

    Chairman David Somers will read a statement in which he will say fund-raising efforts in 2014 fell short of the amount the club had hoped for.

    "We are requesting permission to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the club," Somers' statement reads.

    Rangers had asked existing shareholders for fresh investment in the past year.

     
  5.  
    09:11: Flooding strands 35 in supermarket

    Firefighters said 35 people have been stranded in a supermarket by floodwater after a river burst its banks.

    queens drive kilmarnock

    Water rescue crews are in attendance at the Asda supermarket in Queen's Drive, Kilmarnock, where members of staff and customers are stranded by floodwater.

    The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said there were no injuries to report.

    Emergency services have been working through the night to tackle several incidents of serious flooding after heavy rain in Ayrshire.

    The Queen's Drive Retail Park was flooded after the River Irvine burst its banks.

     
  6.  
    09:00: Meet RoboCyclist David Miller BBC Scotland transport correspondent

    On a bitterly cold winter's day, I am sitting on a bench in Edinburgh's Inverleith Park having a curious device designed to monitor my stress levels fitted to my head.

    David Miller

    I'm already wearing Google Glass and I'm beginning to feel like Scotland's uncool answer to RoboCop. In a hi-vis jacket.

    But there's a good reason for my ignominy.

    I'm about to take part in research designed to find ways of increasing confidence amongst reluctant cyclists.

     
  7.  
    08:54: Treasure hunter Rachel Massie BBC Scotland reporter

    Metal detectorist Alistair McPherson has a nose for finding treasure.

    Alistair McPherson

    "I seem to have a third sense when it comes to fields", he said.

    "Several of my friends call me The Magnet."

    Together with a team of archaeologists, Mr McPherson discovered a hoard of Roman and Pictish silver in a farmer's field. It has been hailed as the most northern of its kind in Europe.

     
  8.  
    Rangers AGM Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    #Rangers chairman: taken 1st steps to effective engagement w fan base. "I think that we'd all agree we still have work to do in this area"

     
  9.  
    Morning Call

    BBC Radio Scotland tweets: On Morning Call from 0850 with @kayeadams.

    Morning Call graphic
     
  10.  
    A720 queues

    Traffic Scotland tweets: #edintravel: #A720 W/B Baberton to Dreghorn - traffic very heavy due to possible RTC. More info to follow #planahead

    traffic
     
  11.  
    08:30: On the back pages

    Billy Davies is in the frame for the Rangers job, while one Celtic defender could be on his way out of Parkhead.

    Billy Davies

    Check out all the latest sports gossip.

     
  12.  
    08:21: We will remember them Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Thirty-one Scottish international rugby players died in World War One, more than any other country. Discover their story.

    Scotland rugby team from 1914
     
  13.  
    08:17: Motorway crash death

    Police confirm that a woman died in the crash on the A74 (M) this morning. The road remains closed.

    They are also looking for a man who was given a lift north from the scene of the crash to the motorway services at Johnstonebridge.

    He may have a head injury.

    Police said the man was about 30, of Asian appearance, about 6ft tall with dark hair and long sideburns.

    The man was last seen at the petrol pumps and then the main building at the services between 06:00 and 06:30 hours.

     
  14.  
    08:14: Lockerbie guilt

    Over the weekend, Scotland's top prosecutor Frank Mulholland said he continued to believe Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was guilty of carrying out the Lockerbie bombing 26 years ago. He was responding to pressure from those who think the case against the Libyan was flawed.

    Lockerbie bombing

    Frank Duggan, the president of the Victims of Pan AM Flight 103, told Good Morning Scotland that the US victims of the atrocity were not as concerned by these "conspiracy mavens".

    He said: "One of the reasons that does not trouble us here in the United States is that that view is simply not credible."

    He added: "We know there are people there (in the UK) who are like a dog with a bone. No matter how much evidence is presented to show that this man was guilty they are not going to change their position and that is not going to affect us one way or the other."

     
  15.  
    Rangers AGM Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    #Rangers chairman David Somers to spell out need for cost-cutting at AGM today. His speech has conspicuous lack of thanks to Ally McCoist

     
  16.  
    08:00: Today's papers

    Many of today's newspaper front pages feature the story of Ally McCoist, who has left his job as Rangers manager and has been put on gardening leave for the next year.

    composite

    The Scottish Sun headlines the story "Ally put out to grass".

    The Daily Record leads with the story of a foodbank over Christmas, while the Scottish Daily Mail highlights the last minute dash of shoppers for the festive season.

     
  17.  
    07:54: Doctor training

    BMA chairman Dr Peter Bennie told Good Morning Scotland that new proposals were expected soon on the training of junior doctors.

    He said: "We've yet to see exactly what will come out of that but the current proposals would lead to junior doctors training for a shorter period of time that they do just now and therefore to consultants having less experience and less breadth than they do just now.

    "That has an obvious knock-on effect for patient care."

     
  18.  
    07:44: One dead in M74 crash

    One person has died in a two-vehicle crash on the M74 motorway in Dumfriesshire, police have said.

    The collision involved a car and a van on the northbound carriageway between junction 20 Eaglesfield and junction 19 Ecclefechan.

    The motorway was closed in the area of the accident at about 06:30 and traffic was being diverted on to the B7076.

    Police were appealing for witnesses.

     
  19.  
    07:43: Rangers latest Chris McLaughlin BBC Sport

    Covering Rangers, you learn to expect the unexpected. I think most people though expected this.

    Ally McCoist

    McCoist handed in his resignation last Friday and was then told by the board that he can work his 12-month notice period but I understand he was called into a meeting at Ibrox last night and the chief executive and former managing director of Newcastle FC Derek Llambias basically told him things couldn't carry on and he was being put on gardening leave.

    It means he will be paid until his contract runs out and his assistant Kenny McDowall is now in charge until the end of the season.

     
  20.  
    07:32: NHS targets

    BMA chairman Dr Peter Bennie told BBC radio's Good Morning Scotland that "targets" for the NHS measured "whatever is in the target rather than necessarily the quality of patient care".

    He said: "For example, the target for maximum four-hour waits in A&E puts the pressure on to move patients out of A&E and into the main part of the hospital. However, that does not cover what happens thereafter.

    "For some of those patients they would have been better treated if they could have stayed a little longer in A&E, got all the necessary results and gone home again."

     
  21.  
    07:20: More apprentices needed

    Scottish construction firms have called for increased funding to help recruit and train more apprentices.

    bricks

    The Scottish Building Federation (SBF) said employers had highlighted critical skills shortages in a number of key trades and managerial positions.

    They were raised in the group's latest quarterly Construction Monitor, which also found industry confidence at its highest since the survey began in 2008.

    SBF said it was now time to review funding for recruitment and training.

     
  22.  
    07:14: McCoist leaves Rangers

    Last night, it emerged Ally McCoist has left his position as Rangers manager and the Scottish Championship club said he is now "on gardening leave".

    Ally McCoist

    The 52-year-old handed in his resignation earlier this month and had started his 12-month notice period.

    McCoist remained in charge of the team for the defeat by Queen of the South and Saturday's win against Livingston.

    A club statement said assistant manager Kenny McDowall (pictured left) will take over as manager until the end of the season.

     
  23.  
    07:08: 'Real change' needed in NHS

    The body that represents doctors has said real change is needed to tackle the challenges facing the NHS in Scotland.

    hospital ward

    Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said the health service must learn from past "mistakes and missed opportunities".

    He said there had been huge reliance on the goodwill of staff, but that this was not a sustainable solution.

    The Scottish government said it agreed that the way health and social care is delivered in Scotland must change.

     
  24.  
    07:01: Rise and shine Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Good morning, and welcome to today's Scotland Live blog. We will bring you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel throughout the day.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MouseEscape the rat race

    Burnt out? Meet the workers who took more than a vacation - and changed their lives

Programmes

  • (File photo) A man dressed as Father Christmas with a sleigh and a reindeer Click Watch

    A website which tracks Father Christmas, plus other sites and apps to keep you entertained

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.