The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 takes effect from April 1, 2018 and will ensure better and more consistent support for carers so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, in better health and to have a life alongside caring.
Throughout Tayside, there are many people including our staff, providing unpaid care for relatives, neighbours and friends. It is estimated that three out of every five of us will take on a caring role at some point in our lives. While fulfilling their invaluable role, the needs of carers themselves for support and for information may all-too-easily remain hidden. The importance and benefits of recognising and meeting these needs cannot be underestimated.
This new legislation will mean that from April 1, 2018 there is:
- A new right for carers to be offered or request an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Young Carer Statement (YCS), setting out their personal outcomes and identified needs.
- A duty for local authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer’s needs which meet the local eligibility criteria. They also have a power to provide support to meet carers’ needs which don’t meet these criteria.
- A requirement for local authorities to establish and maintain an information and advice service for carers. They must also publish and review a short breaks services statement.
- A duty for local authorities and health boards to ‘take such steps as they consider appropriate’ to involve carers and carer representatives in the planning and evaluation of services that support carers, including the preparation of the local carer strategy.
- A requirement for the responsible local authority to consider support in the form of a break from caring, and the desirability of breaks from caring provided on a planned basis.
- A duty on health boards to inform the carer and to invite their views before a cared-for person is discharged from hospital. These must be taken into account before the discharge of the cared-for person.
- The publication of a Carers’ charter to accompany the Act, which sets out the rights of carers in or under the Act.
For more information please see the useful links below:
Scottish Government Carers Policy – Information can be found on the various components of the Act, including the finalised statutory guidance and Carer’s charter, along with the currently active programmes and initiatives undertaken by the Scottish Government and external stakeholders.
Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 – The full legislation for the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 can be found here.
Young Carer Info Graphic – This is an excellent Info Graphic created by our partners at Young Scot, which explains the Act to a Young Carer.