Support in Mind Scotland has welcomed the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016  - which takes effect from 1 April, 2018 - and has encouraged Mental Health carers to seek the help they are entitled to.

The Act will ensure ensure better and more consistent support for carers so that they can continue to care in better health and to have a life alongside caring.

Frances Simpson, CEO of Support in Mind Scotland, said: "This is a very important new piece of legislation giving carers new rights to direct support for their caring role. However, we know that family members and supporters of people with mental health problems often don't call themselves 'carers' and so they may miss out on these new rights. 

"Support in Mind Scotland is encouraging anyone providing care and support for a family member friend or loved one with mental health problems or mental illness to find out more and seek help from their local authority.

"Please contact our national information line (0131 662 4359) or any of our services to find out more about what difference the Carers Act could make to you."

The Act contributes to the Scottish Government’s vision of a healthier and fairer Scotland, and sits alongside related policy on the integration of Health and Social Care, new social security powers; and the Fair Work agenda.

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.

USEFUL LINKS

The full legislation for the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 can be found here: Carers (Scotland) Act 2016   

The Carer’s charter can be found here