There are many people who are providing care for loved ones in their own homes. The Scottish Government recently circulated an updated Carers’ charter explaining the rights of adult carers or young carers in Scotland. This came on the back of the introduction of new legislation, The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into effect from 1 April 2018. What are your rights as a carer in Scotland?
The legislation was introduced to enhance the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their health and wellbeing so they can continue to carry out their role. There is also a requirement on local authorities to have local information and advice services to carers.
The new legislation means there is recognition for those carers who are providing any number of hours of care. You no longer require to be providing a substantial amount of care for someone on a regular basis. You are a carer if you provide care for another person – but not if this is only because of the person’s age (i.e. they are under 18) or because you have a contract or are doing so as voluntary work.
Carers will have a right to have a carer support plan which will contain information about their caring role and their own individual circumstances. The local authority covering the area where the person who requires care lives will be responsible for offering you an adult care support plan. There are similar obligations for young carers.
As a carer you are entitled to support (again provided by the local authority) this can be through support provided to the person you are caring for or through general local services (i.e. local carers centre, voluntary organisation).
You have a right to be involved in planning the services the local authority will provide and in assessing both the carers need for support and the person being cared for need for support.
In cases of hospital discharge, the health board must be sure that before discharge the carer should be involved in the discharge of the cared for person.
Should you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Private Client Team who will be happy to assist.