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The History of the Extension of free personal care for adults aged under 65

The Scottish Government committed to the extension of Free Personal Care to all under 65s who require it regardless of condition in 2019.  Ministers committed to the extension by 1 April 2019.

This timescale was put in place to enable Scottish Government to address any interactions with the Social Security systems which were being devolved to Scottish Government in the then future.

This would also allow local authorities to review their assessment systems and procedures to establish separation between personal care costs and non-personal care costs. 

Scottish Government worked with Scottish Government Analysts, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Local Authorities, Integration Joint Boards, Care providers and  3rd Sector organisations on the implementation of free personal care programme.

The Implementation Advisory Group met regularly in the run-up to implementation.  

The Terms of Reference of the Implementation Advisory Group were:


To provide advice to assist Scottish Government, COSLA, local authorities and service providers in taking forward the First Minister’s announcement of 5 September 2017 to implement Frank’s Law, by extending Free Personal Care to those aged under 65 who are assessed by their local authorities as needing this service, regardless of their age, condition and means.

Advice from IAG members is intended to ensure that implementation takes into account the impact on local authority systems, providers and related policy areas and is undertaken in a way that is sensitive to the needs of service users both current and new. Implementation is to be complete by April 2019.

The purpose of the Implementation Advisory Group is to consider issues around the implementation of the extended policy including the possible increase in demand and costs for  uptake of services, interactions with the benefits system and with children’s services, impact on local authorities eligibility criteria and to assist in drafting guidance for local authorities and service users as reference. 


  • Provide advice to support the implementation of the extension of free personal care policy by April 2019
  • Oversee progress of updated policy guidance for local authorities
  • Provide advice on post implementation monitoring and review model
  • Consideration of the effect of extension of this policy on local authority systems, other policy areas and on service users, including identifying and advising on potential increased demand and costs for uptake of services
  • Identify, acknowledge and put forward suggestions to resolve unintentional consequences

Meeting logistics

  • To meet on a monthly basis until Summer 2018 and thereafter on a bi-monthly basis until end of March 2019
  • Secretariat support and management information provided by Scottish Government Adult Social Care Policy and Scottish Government analysts