Scottish opposition MSPs have reacted angrily to what they see as an attempt to water down the Executive's commitment to providing free care for elderly people. The Executive tabled an amendment to a motion by the health and community care committee, changing a pledge to act upon the recommendations of the care development group to simply welcoming the recommendations. Mary Scanlon, Conservative health spokeswoman, said: 'It is clear to everyone that there is an intention to redefine the definition of personal care to exclude some people and save money. '

The group, chaired by deputy health minister Malcolm Chisholm, will bring a report on free nursing and personal care to the Executive later in the year.