2.1 Figures from the 2013 Scottish Health Survey suggest that 16% of adults aged 16 or over in Scotland provide some form of regular unpaid care. Carers play a crucial role in providing support to others but until relatively recently there has been little acknowledgement of the adverse impact that caring can have on an individual and little or no support provided to carers.
2.2 In October 2013, Alex Salmond, the then First Minister of Scotland announced that the Scottish Government would bring forward specific legislation to promote, defend and extend the rights of carers and young carers. These plans acknowledge the needs of unpaid adult carers and young carers who care for a family member, friend or neighbour.
2.3 Between 22 January 2014 and 16 April 2014, the Scottish Government conducted a consultation on proposals to improve outcomes for carers and young carers. The consultation contained 27 questions relating to new carers' legislation. A list of the questions is included in Appendix 1.
OVERVIEW OF RESPONSES
2.4 In total, 1,587 responses were received; table 2.1 below shows that:
- There were 165 standard responses to the consultation paper; 32 from individuals and 133 from organisations.
- o Responses from several of the carer/ user support organisations included or were based on findings from their own consultations with members.
- 513 respondents submitted their response using a template distributed by the Coalition of Carers and local carers centres.
- There were also 909 responses based on a questionnaire distributed by the Scottish Youth Parliament.
- In addition, 16 consultation events took place across the country; these are listed in Annex 1.
Table 2.1 Total responses
|Standard consultation responses||165|
|Responses using the Coalition of Carers template||513|
|Responses using the Scottish Youth Parliament questionnaire||909|
2.5 As part of the analysis process, standard consultation responses were assigned to groups. This enabled analysis of whether differences, or commonalities, appeared across the various different types of organisations and/ or individuals that responded.
2.6 The following table shows the number of respondents in each group. Tables presented in following chapters are based on the numbers given here.
Table 2.2 Standard consultation responses
|Carer/ User support||81|
|Community Health and Care Partnerships (CHCP)*||6|
*referred to as CHCP throughout the report
2.7 A list of all those organisations who submitted a standard consultation response, along with their assigned group, is included in Appendix 2.
ANALYSIS AND REPORTING
The consultation questions
2.8 Some questions contained yes/ no options to allow respondents to indicate whether or not they agreed with a particular point. Results from these tick-box questions are presented in table format at each relevant question. Where respondents provided a comment but did not explicitly state one of the tick-box answers, these responses are recorded in the tables in a column headed 'other'.
Analysis of open consultation questions
2.9 Responses to open questions were examined and main themes were identified. Sub-themes were also identified, these included reasons for opinions, specific examples or explanations, alternative suggestions or other related comments.
2.10 The main themes were analysed by respondent groups to ascertain whether any particular theme was specific to one group, or whether it was common across some or all groups. When looking at group differences however, it must be borne in mind that where an opinion has been identified in relation to a particular group or groups, this does not indicate that other groups do not share this opinion, but rather that they have simply not commented on that particular point.
Analysis of alternative submissions
2.11 The results from the Coalition of Carers' template and Scottish Youth Parliament questionnaire are presented in Annex 2.
2.12 The consultation responses raised a number of issues, many of which were reiterated in a number of questions throughout the consultation. Many of these issues were also raised at consultation workshops. A summary of key points solely from the workshops is included in Annex 1.
2.13 The consultation gave everyone who wished to respond and comment the opportunity to do so. As such, we cannot make assumptions about the viewpoint of any organisation or individual who chose not to respond.
2.14 The following chapters document the substance of the analysis and presents the main views expressed in responses. These chapters follow the ordering of the sections in the consultation.
2.15 Appropriate verbatim comments, from those who gave permission for their responses to be made public, are used throughout the report to illustrate themes or to provide extra detail for some specific points.
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