1. During the Stage 3 debate on the then Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Bill, the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson MSP, made clear that as part of a package of measures to support carers Scottish Ministers would "issue Directions to local authorities about the way they should approach the "substantial and regular" test on access to carer's assessments". (Official Record, 28 November 2012).
2. The other measures in the package are:
- the Carers (Waiving of Charges for Support) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 on which we are consulting separately; and
- statutory guidance on early preventative support to carers who are not providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis and who do not therefore meet the threshold for a carer's assessment (see paragraphs 112 and 113 of the draft statutory guidance on care and support).
3. The aim of the Directions is to reinforce that part of circular CCD2/2003 "Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 – New Statutory Rights for Carers: Guidance" dealing with the interpretation of providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis. In doing so, Scottish Ministers would encourage all local authorities to adopt a broadly consistent approach to the carrying out of carer's assessments. The objective, taking account of the Directions and other measures being taken forward to support the carrying out of carer's assessments, is to enhance both the quantity and quality of assessment to improve outcomes for carers.
4. It is outwith the scope of the Directions to change or supplement paragraphs 3.5.2 to 3.5.6 of CCD2/2003 which are reproduced in the draft Directions.
5. As can be seen in the draft Directions, they also cover the interpretation of providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis by young carers.
6. Scottish Ministers have also taken the opportunity to include in the Directions local authorities having regard to the guidance in paragraphs 3.5.2 to 3.5.6 when taking account of the views of carers who provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis in relation to persons whose needs are being assessed (known as cared-for persons).
7. Scottish Ministers are not minded to include in the Directions the first part of paragraph 3.5.2 about local authorities making public their approach to the interpretation of providing a substantial amount of care on a regular basis as this in itself is not to do with the issue of interpretation.
8. The draft Directions are attached at Annex A:
Draft Directions Consultation Questions
Question 1a: Are the draft Directions clear and easy to understand?
Question 1b: Did you find the draft Directions:
Question 1c: Do you have any further comments on the draft Directions?
Email: Alun Ellis