New rights for carers come into force

Istock-686228658

Legislation extends rights of carers 

3rd April 2018 by Robert Armour 3 Comments

New rights improving support for Scotland’s unpaid carers have come into force.

All those who provide unpaid care for friends, family, and neighbours will now have the right to a personalised plan, under the Carers (Scotland) Act.

This will identify their needs and help them access information, advice and support, before reaching a crisis point.

There are an estimated 788,000 carers in Scotland, including 44,000 who are under 18. The value of care they provide is estimated at over £10 billion a year.

Local authorities and health boards will work together to prepare local carer strategies, setting out their plans for identifying and supporting carers in their community.

The act also ensures carers will be involved in individual decisions about their own support and what happens when the person they look after is discharged from hospital.

Under the new rights, the definition of a carer will be extended, with the removal of the requirement for "substantial caring on a regular basis", meaning more people will be able to access this support.

Public health minister Aileen Campbell said: “Carers play a vital role in Scottish society, providing millions of hours of unpaid care a week for friends, family and neighbours. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

“It is vital that all carers receive the support they need to look after their own health and wellbeing, and have a life alongside caring. That is what the Carers Act will deliver.”

Karen Armstrong of North Ayrshire Carers Forum welcomed the act but said carers would carefully monitor its progress.

“Increased recognition for carers can only be good. However carers are still facing massive challenges not least of which are financial.

“As previous legislation has largely forgotten carers, this is at least a step in the right direction.”  

3rd April 2018 by John

Another Act with no teeth. A life alongside caring will only be achieved when sufficient resource is provided. Until then this falls well short of what carers in Scotland really need.

5th April 2018 by Michael

Being a carer is worse than being disabled; and all the difficulties that brings with it. Carers get in some cases ZERO support. Carers allowance is an absurd one size fits all benefit. Carers can often be in abject poverty. Remember many carers do not live with the person they care for; they do not share the disabled persons benefits - they actually live on a pittance.We could reach a breaking point where family members begin to refuse to care. That would cripple the welfare budget. It might be time to intervene more strongly than this act before it is too late. Without these people hospitals will be bed blocked for months and local authorities budgets will implode.Not far enough and too late in coming.

8th April 2018 by Catherine

This is going to be interesting. I was going to tell my husband about this, but then I thought, no, I'll wait and see if and when he finds out as this will indicate if people like him are being reached. If he doesn't get to know about it anytime soon, then it'll will have been a complete failure.