13 Jun 2013
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has challenged Alex Salmond to carry out a full audit into how many critically ill patients have been wrongly charged for their care.
The First Minister was today unable to say how many people and their families have been forced to pay thousands of pounds for an entitlement which should have been free under NHS Continuing Health Care.
There are fears that thousands of people of all ages – with complex conditions such as Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Disease – were told they had no choice but to pay the costs of their nursing home accommodation.
Figures show the number of patients having these care costs supported fell by almost 27% over a three year period in Scotland.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said this morning that those affected would be “appropriately reimbursed”.
However, when challenged by Ruth, the First Minister was unable to say how many sufferers are affected and what the total compensation bill would be.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP said:
“The truth is the Scottish Government has absolutely no idea how many people with complex care needs have wrongly been charged for their care.
“Let’s be clear here, this issue is nothing to do with people receiving free personal care – it’s about people of all ages with serious conditions such as Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Disease being denied funding for the care they’re entitled to.
“Unless Alex Salmond gets a grip on this issue, he will have no idea how much compensation will have to be handed back to sufferers and their families.
“Some people have even reported being forced to sell their home in order to find the thousands needed to pay nursing home accommodation costs.
“With fears that thousands of other people have been put in a similar position, a full and transparent audit of Scotland’s health boards is the only way forward.
“The Scottish Government has a responsibility to ensure some of the most vulnerable and desperately ill people are fully reimbursed for being denied the support to which they are entitled.”