Chapter 7 Planning and Delivery
a) Carers Strategies
b) Diversity and Equality in Provision
This chapter sets out proposals for statutory provision for the development and publication of local carers' strategies which will, amongst other things, address issues of need and demand for support. There is also a proposal in respect of developing the market in support services for carers and young carers so that support is available to meet need.
1) Under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill there is a requirement for integration authorities to prepare strategic plans which will set out arrangements for delivery of integration functions and how the national health and wellbeing outcomes will be met.
2) The provisions in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill for the preparation of children's services plans will support carers of disabled children indirectly and young carers. In preparing such plans local authorities and health boards must give "other service providers" the opportunity to contribute to the plan. They must also consult organisations representing the relevant interests.
3) Presently, most if not all, local authority areas have local carers strategies. Some are prepared jointly with the Health Board. The local strategies provide the strategic framework for the development of services for carers. Some areas have local young carers strategies.
4) The strategic plans required under the integration of health and social care, the children's services plans and the carers and young strategies should all work together for the benefit of service users and carers.
5) Because the integration strategic plans will be high-level, although they will reflect on the needs of carers, and because they will not all cover children's services, we see a need to continue with local carers strategies.
6) Local carers strategies should address issues about need and demand for support for carers within a wider context of joint strategic commissioning. The Change Fund plans under Reshaping Care for Older People demonstrated progress in this area with regard to carers of older people.
7) Further progress can be made. In relation to short breaks, for example, the report produced by Reid-Howie Associates Ltd for Shared Care Scotland in 2010 (It's About Time: An Overview of Short Break (Respite Care) Planning and Provision in Scotland) concluded that there is limited commitment to putting in place strategies to identify unmet need and that there is huge variance in decisions on priorities. We accept that matters have moved on in some areas since this report was produced.
8) In order to ensure a good focus by local authorities and Health Boards on strategic planning, we propose statutory provision to the effect that a local authority and each relevant Health Board must collaborate and involve relevant organisations and carers in the development of local carers' strategies which must be kept under review and updated every three years. This builds on the proposals in chapter 6 on carer involvement but with a focus here on carers' strategies. Furthermore, local carers strategies should address unmet need and demand for support to carers. The identification of latent or unmet need is valuable.
9) We do not propose statutory provision for the preparation of young carer strategies given the proposals in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill for preparation of a children's services plan. However, local areas can if they wish produce young carer strategies.
Diversity and Equality in Provision
10) Updated guidance on joint strategic commissioning will include guidance on developing the market for services.
11) Section 19 of the Social Care Self-directed Support (Scotland) Act about the 'promotion of options for self-directed support' provides for local authorities to promote, in so far as is reasonably practicable, a variety of providers of support in relation to supported persons.
12) There is currently no legal duty in social care law to provide support to carers. Therefore, it is understandable that there is an underdeveloped market of providers to support carers with counselling, advocacy, short breaks and other forms of support. It is necessary therefore to develop and support the market.
13) We see merit in legislative provision that local authorities with Health Boards must take steps to ensure, in so far as is reasonably practicable, that sufficient support services are available for meeting the needs for support to carers and young carers in the area.
What Do We Want To Know From You?
Question 18: Should we introduce statutory provision to the effect that a local authority and each relevant Health Board must collaborate and involve relevant organisations and carers in the development of local carers strategies which must be kept under review and updated every three years?
Question 19: Should we introduce statutory provision to the effect that local authorities with Health Boards must take steps to ensure, in so far as is reasonably practicable, that a sufficient range of services is available for meeting the needs for support to carers and young carers in the area?
Email: Alun Ellis