Carers Act Finance 2021-2022: letter

Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport about additional funding in the 2021-2022 Scottish Budget, for expanding support for unpaid carers under the Carers Act.

To: Local Authority Chief Executives
Local Authority Directors of Finance
Integration Authority Chief Officers
Integration Authority Chief Finance Officers    

March 2021

I am writing to highlight the £28.5 million uplift in Carers Act implementation funding included in the local government settlement as part of the Scottish Budget 2021-22 (noted in Local government finance circular 1/2021). 

As per the Cabinet Secretary for Finance’s letter to COSLA and Council leaders of 28 January, the funding allocated to Integration Authorities should be additional and not substitutional to each Council’s 2020-21 recurring budgets for adult social care services that are delegated. 

This uplift comes on top of successive, baselined increases in every year since the Act came into force in April 2018. The cumulative total was £39.5 million for 2020-21. The Act aimed to deliver a significant expansion in local carer support so that funding for carers services and support in 2021-22 will be £68 million more than it was in 2017/18. 

I know you are aware of the immense and irreplaceable contribution unpaid carers make to the sustainability of the health and social care system as well as to the individual wellbeing of the people they care for. Effective support for carers is not a new issue but the increasing pressures on carers and local carers services have been highlighted throughout the current pandemic. Support for carers is also a significant focus of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, which recommends that carers need better, more consistent support to carry out their caring roles and to take a break from caring. 

A key step towards improving carer support is to ensure that the substantial Carers Act funding uplift for 2021-22 goes to delivering the intended expansion in carer support services at local level. I therefore ask for your support in ensuring these additional resources are allocated in full to expanding support for unpaid carers.

Jeane Freeman

Carers Act Finance 2021-2022: letter
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