Scotland has around 745,000 adult carers and 44,000 young carers who provide care estimated to be worth about £10bn every year. The Scottish Parliament has passed new legislation to improve support for unpaid carers.
The Carers Bill aims to help carers balance their caring responsibilities with other things they want to achieve in their lives and help them to be healthier and happier.
For the first time, all unpaid carers will have the right to request or be offered an assessment of their need for support through an adult carer support plan or young carer statement. The definition of a carer will be changed to include more people.
Local authorities and health boards will have to work together to prepare and publish local carer strategies setting out their plans for identifying carers, assessing demand for support and information about the particular needs and circumstances of young carers.
Each local authority area will have its own information and advice service for carers which must provide information and advice on, amongst other things, emergency and future care planning, advocacy and carers’ rights.
Carers will be involved in decisions about their own support and the care they provide. When plans are being made for discharge from hospital, carers will have the right to be informed and have their views taken into account.
View the Bill on the Scottish Parliament’s website: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/86987.aspx