are today being asked for their views on legislation that aims to improve the
support available to them and set out their rights in law.
The Health and Sport Committee has issued a call for views as it begins scrutiny of the Carers (Scotland) Bill. The Committee is keen to hear directly from young and adult carers about whether they feel the proposed legislation will provide greater support to them than what is available currently.
The Bill, if approved by Parliament, would change carer’s assessments to ‘Adult Carer support plans’ and young carers would be entitled to a ‘Young Carer’s statement’.
Local authorities would be given a duty to establish and maintain information and advice services to carers and to support carers who met eligibility criteria.
Local authorities would also be required to consider whether any support provided should be in the form of a short break and would also be required to take into account the views of the carer when assessing the needs of the person being cared for.
Convener of the Committee, Duncan McNeil MSP said:
“Recent statistics show that almost 17 per cent of the population in Scotland are carers and around a third said that caring had a negative impact on their health.
“The thousands of adult and young carers up and down the country deserve to be properly supported. It is the role of this Committee to determine if the legislation delivers on that.
“Given that this bill is all about improving the rights of both young and adult carers, as a Committee it is important that we hear from carers across Scotland on whether they think this bill will make a real difference to them.
“This Committee urges carers to get in touch and tell us their views.”
Deputy Convener of the Committee, Bob Doris MSP said:
“This legislation, if passed, will for the first time, place the rights of carers in law.
“It will place an onus on local authorities to place carers’ rights at the heart of the support services that they provide to both young and adult carers.
“Carers provide an invaluable role not only in the work that they do day in and day out but by the fact that they make a significant economic contribution which is often overlooked.”
Scotland has an estimated 745,000 carers and 44,000 young carers.
The Committee’s call for views is asking the following questions:
• Do you support the Bill?
• What do you feel would be the benefits of the provisions set out in the Bill?
• How do you feel the Bill could be amended or strengthened?
• Is there anything that you would add to the Bill?
• Is there anything that you would remove from the Bill?
The deadline for submitting evidence to the Committee is 22 April