As a new Minister, I am proud to have responsibility within my portfolio for carers and young carers.
At the Carers Parliament in October 2013, the former First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, announced the Scottish Government's intention to bring forward legislation to strengthen and extend the rights of carers and young carers.
We launched the Carers Legislation - Consultation on Proposals in January last year. I am pleased that during a 12 week period we had the opportunity to hear from a wide range of interests including carers and young carers, third sector organisations, local authorities, health boards and many others. I am very grateful to everyone who responded to this consultation and who participated in consultation events.
The insightful views of all respondents have provided us with a further understanding of the experiences and needs of carers and young carers, and of a range of issues affecting the statutory organisations and third sector bodies who continue to provide crucial services, support, advice and guidance.
I welcome the broad support that has been given for our proposals. By ensuring that this new legislation, subject to Parliamentary approval, has a key role to play as part of the wider approach to public service reform, we can successfully realise our aims as set out in the consultation paper. This response provides further detail on how we intend to proceed with the proposals.
The Scottish Government has provided significant funding of nearly £114 million between 2007-2015 to support carers and young carers. We recognise that more needs to be done to build on the progress achieved so far. Therefore, policy and practice developments will continue alongside the implementation of measures introduced through new legislation.
I look forward to working with all interests to ensure that carers can continue to care and to have a life alongside caring to help achieve their own personal outcomes. We want young carers too to achieve their own personal ambitions and goals.
Jamie Hepburn MSP
Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health
Email: Alun Ellis