• STV
  • MySTV

Frank's Law wait 'hits hundreds of dementia patients'

The law was rubber-stamped by MSPs in June this year but is not yet operational.

Campaigner: Amanda Kopel with late husband Frank.
Campaigner: Amanda Kopel with late husband Frank. SNS

Hundreds of dementia patients in Scotland under the age of 65 have missed out on a year of free personal care waiting for Frank's Law to come into effect, it has been claimed.

The law is named after former Dundee United footballer Frank Kopel, who was diagnosed with dementia aged 59 and died six years later aged 65 in 2014.

At the end of his life his family was paying around £300 a week in personal care.

His widow Amanda Kopel, who campaigned for the law, said she knows people who have died waiting for the financial help promised by the change in legislation.

The law was rubber-stamped by Holyrood's health committee in June this year following sustained pressure by opposition politicians and campaigners, but ministers decided to introduce the changes from April 2019.

Those campaigning for the law argued it should be operational from April 2018, preventing hundreds of patients from having to fund their own care packages.

Now, analysis of ISD Scotland statistics shows that at the end of March 2018 there were 867 people in Scotland under 65 being treated for dementia.

Of these, 484 were aged between 60 and 64, 245 from 55 to 59, and 85 from 50 to 54. A further 38 were aged between 40 and 49, and 16 patients receiving dementia medication were 39 and under.

'How can you put a price on a person's life? Sadly, that's exactly what the SNP has done, but churning out excuse after excuse as to why it wasn't feasible or affordable'
Amanda Kopel, widow of Frank Kopel

Mrs Kopel said: "There have already been under 65s who were denied free personal care because of the repeated excuses about why Frank's Law couldn't be implemented until April 2019.

"I realise the wheels of government can turn slowly, but if things had been put in motion long before 2017 by the SNP, and if it had taken the issue seriously, Frank's Law could have, and would have, been delivered long before now.

"How can you put a price on a person's life? Sadly, that's exactly what the SNP has done, but churning out excuse after excuse as to why it wasn't feasible or affordable.

"I know there have been many people under 65 who have sadly passed away since the announcement in September 2017.

"They were living in hope, and I am saddened for those who were unable to hang on to see this come into place."

'The SNP was dragged kicking and screaming to agree to bring in Frank's Law'
Scottish Conservatives health spokesman Miles Briggs

Scottish Conservatives health spokesman Miles Briggs added: "The SNP was dragged kicking and screaming to agree to bring in Frank's Law.

"As soon as the legislation was passed it should have been brought in at the next reasonable opportunity, which would have been April 2018."

A Scottish Government spokesman said the extension of free personal care would be fully implemented by April 1, 2019.

He added: "Our draft budget for 2019/20 provides the necessary funding so that free personal care will be available to everyone under 65 who requires it.

"Ministers are seeking support from across the Parliament to ensure that the budget passes and ensure that this vital scheme is rolled out."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.