The SNP should not wait until April 2019 to introduce Frank’s Law, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
Ministers confirmed the new legislation would be introduced after Tuesday’s Programme for Government.
However, shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the target should be one year earlier, and his call to have the law effective from April 2018 has been backed by the campaign leader Amanda Kopel.
Her husband Frank, who gave his name to the campaign, passed away three years ago having been diagnosed with dementia at the age of 59.
He could not access free personal care because he wasn’t yet 65, something the new legislation will change.
After the announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, which signalled a long-awaited change in policy from the SNP, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said she’d work with ministers to ensure it could be put in place as soon as possible.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:
“While the belated decision to commit to introducing Frank’s Law is welcome, I am very concerned the extension of free personal care will not come into force and be a reality for families until April 2019.
“For too many people in Scotland, Frank’s Law is needed today and was needed yesterday.
“A delay of more than 18 months just isn’t good enough.
“The Scottish Government should take all the actions necessary, and look at all the mechanisms, to ensure the policy change can be implemented from April 2018.
“If the SNP is genuinely going to get back to focusing on the day job, then fast-tracking Frank’s Law will be a key test.”
Amanda Kopel said:
“Of course I’m delighted that finally common sense has prevailed and Frank’s Law will be delivered.
“However, to be told that it will be April 2019 is really no good for the under 65s who desperately need help now.
“Time is so very precious to them, and they don’t have it on their side.
“Sadly, a lot of them will not be here in 2019, so it’s imperative the date is brought forward.”
Notes to editors:
It was confirmed today that Frank’s Law would not be introduced until April 2019: