Scottish Government Response to 'Carers Legislation - Consultation on Proposals - January 2014'

On 22 January 2014 the Scottish Government launched 'Carers Legislation - Consultation on Proposals'. The consultation ran for 12 weeks and closed on 16 April 2014.

Chapter 8: Carer and cared-for person(s) in different local authority areas

Question 25 What are the views of respondents on which local authority should take the lead in undertaking the carer's support plan, and agreeing support to the carer where the carer lives in a different local authority area to the cared-for person(s)?

Question 26 What are the views of respondents on which local authority should cover the costs of support to the carer in these circumstances?

Question 27 Should the Scottish Government with COSLA produce guidance for local authorities?

What we heard

There were split views about which local authority should have responsibility for preparing an ACSP or YCS and agreeing the provision of support, where a carer lives in a different area from the cared-for person. There were almost equal numbers of respondents expressing a preference for either the local authority in which the carer resides or where the cared-for person resides. Some respondents noted that regardless of which option was chosen, it was important that there was a clear and transparent process for deciding which authority was responsible and there were calls for detailed guidance to underpin any such decision-making.

There were also some calls for collaboration between local authorities "to ensure the process is person-centred and flexible to meet the needs of carers."

Views on which local authority should provide support were less polarised. Many, but not all respondents, thought the local authority responsible for meeting the cost of support should be the same local authority with lead responsibility for preparing an ACSP or YCS.

A small number of respondents who expressed a preference for the local authority which supports the cared-for person to carry the costs of support also commented that the costs of short breaks or respite should be paid for by that local authority.

The Scottish Government response

We intend that where the carer and the cared-for person live in different local authority areas, that the local authority in which the carer resides should prepare the ACSP or YCS.

We believe that placing responsibility for preparing the ACSP and YCS with the local authority in which the carer, rather than in which the cared for person lives, reinforces our aspiration to ensure that carers' needs are considered in their own right, rather than solely through the lens of the cared-for person's needs, although we recognise the close relationship between the carer and cared-for person.

We recognise that some carers may prefer to have any agreed support delivered in the local authority area in which the cared-for person lives and we therefore intend to build in sufficient flexibility in law to enable this.

We also intend that the local authority within which the carer lives should be responsible for the cost of providing any agreed support.

There was overwhelming support from respondents for guidance and it is therefore our intention to produce such guidance. Guidance will set out the detail of what we are aiming to achieve for carers by way of the new laws and how those duties and obligations can best be delivered. We also believe it provides an opportunity to promote consistency of approach and to share best practice and innovative approaches.


Email: Alun Ellis

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