Your Rights as a Carer
Carers Rights: Carers Act Overview
As a carer you have certain rights, and these have been brought together in the Carers (Scotland) Act which came into force on 1st April 2018. The Carers Act enhances the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their health and wellbeing, so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, and have a life alongside caring.
Who are carers?
Carers are individuals who provide, or intend to provide, unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help due to illness, disability, frailty, mental ill-health or addiction. This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation.
Carers can be any age and are part of every community and culture. Carers may be parents, spouses, grandparents, daughters, brothers, same-sex partners, friends or neighbours. Some carers may be disabled or have care needs themselves. Carers can provide care and support for more than one person.
What does this mean for carers?
Under the Carers Act, carers have new rights. Here is a snapshot of the key changes and rights that apply under the legislation:
- A requirement for local authorities to establish and maintain an information and advice service for carers.
In Dundee, we want all carers to be supported if they need it, therefore most services will continue to be available to access when you need support. This includes a wide variety of support, information and advice through Dundee Carers Centre and other local organisations in Dundee.
- All carers are entitled to an adult carer support plan or for carers under 18, a young carer statement. These replace old carers assessments.
An Adult Carer Support Plan and a Young Carers statement will provide you with an opportunity to tell us about your own needs, how they might be met and can help you to plan for the things that matter to you as a carer. The Dundee Adult Carer Support Plan is for carers who look after someone living in Dundee.
- Carers have a right to support to meet any ‘eligible needs’
If your Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement identifies that there are supports that you would benefit from that aren’t currently available and if you meet the eligibility threshold, you may be entitled to additional funding to meet your needs.
Carers who do not meet eligibility criteria will still receive help and can access services such as information and advice from local carer support services.
- Carers have a right to be involved in services.
A key feature of the Act relates to carer involvement, carers must be involved in the planning, shaping, delivery and review of service. This includes involvement in the development of the local Carer Strategy, as well the local Short Break Services Statement.
- Carers have a right to be involved in the hospital discharge process of the person they are going to be caring for.
Hospital discharge planning is also covered by the Act. Local Health Boards have a duty to involve carers in making decisions relating to hospital discharge for the person they care for, or intend to provide care for.
The full legislation can be found at Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.
The Carers’ Charter contains information about your rights as an adult carer or young carer in Scotland. You can download and print off a copy of the Carers Charter here.
Dundee Health and Social Care Publications can also be found here.
The Coalition of Carers in Scotland have also produced information around the Act: