Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the announcement that free personal care will be expanded to under-65s who need it.

The move by the Scottish Government will benefit at least 9000 people with conditions such as early onset dementia, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

The policy will take effect by April 2019. It is known as Frank’s Law, after the campaign led by the widow of Falkirk-born footballer Frank Kopel. The former Dundee United star was diagnosed with early onset dementia when he was 59 and died six years later, in 2014.

Mr Matheson said: “Introducing free personal care for everyone who needs it, regardless of their age, will help to offer dignity to people with debilitating conditions and provide much-needed support for their families.

“It’s another example of how the Scottish Government is building a more caring, progressive society that looks after its most vulnerable members.

“Falkirk councillors from all parties backed the Frank’s Law campaign last year and the Scottish Government will now work closely with local government to implement this change and put in place the capacity that will be needed to meet the demand.”