An action plan is in place for the roll-out in Aberdeen of a new free care law set up following the tragic death of a Scottish footballing legend.
Frank Kopel, who made more than 280 appearances in the tangerine of Dundee United as well as appearing for Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Arbroath, died in 2014 aged just 65.
The left back – who was diagnosed with, and later died from, early onset dementia – and his family vigorously campaigned for a change in the law to allow free personal care to people under 65.
Concerns have rested on family members being forced to become unpaid carers for their relatives.
But next Monday, Frank’s Law will be enacted, meaning councils and other bodies now will have to provide the care free of charge.
It’s understood that a significant number of adults under the age of 65 already receive their personal care free of charge because of the level of their income and assets.
But nationally it is estimated that around 9,000 people will benefit from the changes.
Today, the integration joint board (IJB) of the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) will discuss their plan for implementing the law.
Staff will be given training in identifying those in need and a working group will be established.
Around £1.3 million has been allocated to Aberdeen for the introduction of Frank’s Law, while a recent survey found 327 under 65s in need.
A report to the IJB says that, according to estimates, the funding given “will be sufficient in the short term”.
Conservative Angus MP Kirstene Hair campaigned alongside Mr Kopel’s widow Amanda.
She said: “Having campaigned for the introduction of Frank’s Law and for its speedy implementation, I am pleased to see integration joint boards now pushing ahead with preparations.
“There is no doubt that the SNP government was slow to roll this out, but it will have a huge impact for many people across the country.
“Up to now, it has fallen to families to act as unpaid carers.
“That can be an enormous pressure to bear and I am sure that those who are eligible will appreciate any support they receive.
“Huge credit should go to my constituent, Amanda Kopel, who has worked tirelessly for several years now to ensure this policy became law.”