Saturday, May 16, 2009

Perth & Kinross Council’s care charges thrown out by Court of Session ruling

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Kinclaven has ruled against Perth & Kinross Council’s care charges, issuing a judgement that assisting with food preparation was free of charge under the legislation.

The Scotsman reports :

Judge rules couple were wrong to be charged for care services

Published Date: 16 May 2009
By Katrine Bussey

AN ELDERLY couple should not have been charged for some care services they received, a judge ruled yesterday.

David Boath, 95, took legal action against Perth and Kinross Council, arguing that the legislation that introduced free personal care meant he and his wife Janet should not have been charged for some of the care they received.

The case concerns charges over the period of 1 July, 2002, to 15 June, 2003, with Mr Boath seeking payment of £3,081.41 plus interest.

Lawyers for the pensioner had argued that he required assistance with all aspects of living following a stroke in July 2000, stating the council had arranged for him to have home help seven days a week and meals on wheels three days a week.

They also said that prior to her death in January 2004, Mrs Boath had been suffering from Parkinson's disease and was incontinent.

Under the terms of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 – which makes provision for the delivery of free nursing care and free personal care to those aged over 65 – Mr Boath had argued that a range of services should have been provided to them free of charge.

However Perth and Kinross Council argued that certain services were properly chargeable.

The authority also said that in charging for food preparation, they had been relying on guidance issued by the then-Scottish Executive, which stated help with food preparation was not included in free social care.

This guidance was changed in 2004 to state that this should be included in free personal care.

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday Lord Kinclaven ruled that assisting with food preparation was free of charge under the legislation.

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