New Legislation for Carers

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into force on 1st April and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is working with NHS Western Isles to prepare for its implementation.

The intention of the Act is to ensure that Scotland‘s estimated 745,000 adult carers and 44,000 young carers are better supported on a more consistent basis, so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, in good health and to have a life alongside caring.

A carer can be a parent, a partner or a son or daughter or friend to someone who needs support as a result of their disability, condition or illness and provides them with help and support to manage their life. The Act provides new rights to carers in a number of areas.

A Carers Act Implementation Group has been established by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to co-ordinate the delivery of the key elements of the Act. This group is made up of representatives from integrated health and social care services, the Western Isles Community Care Forum and the Western Isles Carers and Supporters Network, who represent carers in the Western Isles

The Act (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) includes, amongst other things:

  • a duty on Local Authorities and NHS Boards to involve carers in the delivery and planning of services including hospital discharge
  • a duty on Local Authorities and NHS Boards to involve carers in the development of Local Carer Strategies setting out how they will deliver the requirements of the Carers Act over a three year period.
  • a duty on Local Authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer’s identified needs which meet local eligibility criteria.
  • a specific Adult Carer Support Plan and Young Carer Statement to identify carers’ needs and personal outcomes.
  • a requirement for each Local Authority to 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, income maximisation and carers’ rights.The Scottish Government has completed a number of pilots and is currently producing guidance and regulations to support the delivery of the Carers Act.  (Further Information (Opens in a new window or downloads a file))

Working with carers and partner agencies Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is:

  • Reviewing and updating the Western Isles Carers Strategy
  • Producing an Adult Carer Support Plan template
  • Producing a Young Carer Statement template
  • Producing local eligibility criteria
  • Producing a short-breaks statement
  • Involving and listening to carers, young carers, care for people and carer organisations in all of the above.

Easy to read information leaflets for carers are available from the Social Work Department and NHS Western Isles locations and short video clips for carers have been developed by Coalition of Carers Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

The Eligibility Criteria can be found in the attached document below.