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 2: Information and advice

Question 9 Should we introduce a duty for local authorities to establish and maintain a service for providing people with information and advice relating to the CSP and support for carers and young carers?

What we heard

There is a need for providing good quality information and advice in the right way at the right time.

Most, but not all, respondents supported the establishment of an information and advice service.

Some carers and carer organisations suggested that third sector organisations may be well-placed to provide and maintain locally based information and advice services, especially to meet the needs of more isolated and hard-to-reach carers, including, for example, BME communities, traveller communities, and LGBTI carers.

Some respondents suggested that further legislation is not needed. This is because the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 (the SDS Act)[5] already places a duty on local authorities to ensure the provision of information and advice in relation to self-directed support.

The Scottish Government response

We recognise the issues concerning the provision of information and advice and that there is quite a lot of information and advice available to carers. Nonetheless, it is sometimes not well co-ordinated or not given at the right time and in the right way. We intend to address these issues through information and advice provisions in the Bill. Workforce development will play a part too.

We therefore intend that information will be made available to adult and young carers through the ACSP and YCS. The information will relate to a wide range of matters including information about the support available to carers and cared-for persons in the area.

Local authorities will also have a responsibility to establish and maintain an information and advice service for adult and young carers. The service will provide information and advice in a number of key areas including the rights of all carers. The information and advice service is to be accessible and proportionate.

Local authorities will also be required to prepare and publish a short breaks services statement. This will enable local authorities to provide information to adult and young carers about the different types and the range of short breaks that might be available.

There are short breaks bureaux in about six local authority areas. They provide information about short breaks and other short breaks' services too. They are all funded and modelled in different ways. Where they exist, they can be used to help ensure the availability of the right information on local authority websites so that the information presented in the statement is immediately accessible to carers and young carers. Or the short breaks bureau can individually host the short breaks services statement.

Given the role that health boards and the third sector play already in the provision of information and advice, we would expect local authorities to pay particular attention to the continuing role that health boards and the third sector have in this area.

Question 10 Should we repeal section 12 of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 about the submission of Carer information strategies to Scottish Ministers, subject to reassurances, which are subject in turn to Spending Review decisions, about the continuation of funding to health boards for support to carers and young carers?

What we heard

The majority of respondents favoured the repeal of section 12 since it will effectively become redundant with the integration of health and social care. However, some carer organisation respondents suggested that it is too early to do so in the context of health and social care integration. Assurances were sought from some respondents for core funding from the Scottish Government to continue in order to protect services targeted at carers and young carers.

The Scottish Government response

We intend to repeal section 12 of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002[6] as many local authorities and health boards already bring together CIS and carer strategy activity in a holistic way.

We recognise the concerns raised during the consultation relating to future funding. The Financial Memorandum accompanying the Bill will set out the costs of Bill implementation and how it is expected to meet the costs.

Furthermore, under section 4(2)(d) of The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Content of Performance Reports) (Scotland) Regulations 2014,[7] performance reports must include information on "the proportion of the total amount paid to or set aside for use by the integration authority spent on….social care services provided in pursuance of integration functions to support unpaid carers in relation to needs arising from their caring role." This means that there will be transparency about the funding with regard to carers.


Email: Alun Ellis

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