Coronavirus (COVID 19): changes to social care assessments - statutory guidance for local authorities on sections 16 and 17 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 as updated on 6 Nov

This guidance was updated on 6 November to reflect the changes brought in by the Coronavirus (Suspension: Adult Social Care) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 which come into effect on 30 November. The regulations partially suspend section 16 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the 2020 Act”).

4 Communications and preparing the community

4.1 Public messaging about using the 2020 Act

There are understandable concerns from supported people and carers about how authorities may choose to use their powers to dispense with assessment duties. Clear public messaging at local level will be vital to provide information and reassurance about how those powers will be used.

Public communications should include a clear commitment to strive at all levels to support people to get what they are entitled to, subject to available resources. These communications should

  • make it clear that the statutory duties to provide support remain in place
  • make it clear that full assessments will be carried out once the emergency period is over
  • provide reassurance that there will be fair judgement and clear justification for any decisions made on prioritisation.
  • explain the position on charging
  • recognise the key role played by unpaid carers and make an ongoing commitment to supporting them to maintain their caring roles.

4.2 Unpaid carers

During the emergency period and while these powers are in force, it will be important for unpaid carers to understand the practicalities of how carer support will be provided and how carers needs for support will be identified. Authorities should therefore include the following in their public messaging during the emergency period:

  • who people should contact if they think they might need support with their caring role;
  • what to expect when requesting an adult carer support plan or young carer statement;
  • how carer services (carer centres and young carer services) are being delivered differently to comply with the social distancing rules.



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