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 5: Carer involvement

Question 16 Should there be carer involvement in the planning, shaping and delivery of services for the people they care for and support for carers in areas outwith the scope of integration?

Question 17 Should we make provision for the involvement of carers organisations in the planning, shaping and delivery of services and support falling outwith the scope of integration?

What we heard

All (100 per cent) respondents supported carer involvement. Carers are best placed to understand and comment on the services required for those they care for. Their knowledge and expertise is seen to be a crucial element in the planning of local service delivery. This is especially important in specific carer groups where there may be a lack of knowledge including for example about some BME communities.

The vast majority of respondents supported the involvement of carers organisations. They are regarded as having good knowledge and expertise, as well as trusted relationships with carers themselves. However, there was a suggestion from some respondents that organisations could positively encompass knowledge of all carer groups.

It was recognised by many respondents that new duties would be placed on authorities to involve individuals and organisations in relation to health and social care functions which are integrated under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 (Public Bodies Act). There are likely to be gaps in carer involvement where services do not fall within the scope of integration schemes.

A small number of respondents suggested that there should be consideration of the provisions in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill regarding community participation.

The Scottish Government response

We propose to introduce a duty for local authorities and health boards to involve adult carers, young carers, carer organisations and other relevant organisations in the planning, shaping and delivery and review of services. This will help ensure that all services delivered for carers and the people they care for are designed and shaped by the individuals that use them.

The duty will be framed in such a way as to avoid duplication of provisions in the Public Bodies Act.

Question 18 Should we establish a principle about carer and young carer involvement in care planning for service users (subject to consent) and support for themselves in areas not covered in existing legislation?

What we heard

Almost all respondents favoured such a principle being established in law.

Many respondents noted that carers have valuable knowledge and experience which should be used in order to provide the right services and support.

A small number of respondents commented on the potential for conflicting views from the carer and cared-for person about what is considered to be good care. It was also felt that the issue of consent from the cared-for person for the carer to be involved in care planning for service users could be problematic.

Comments were made that young carers need to be involved in a way that is appropriate to their age and development.

The Scottish Government response

We recognise all points made.

We propose to amend the SDS Act so that local authorities will be required to have regard to the general principles set out in section 1 of that Act when exercising functions in relation to ACSPs and YCSs and the provision of support to carers.

These general principles are that the carer must have as much involvement as he or she wishes in relation to the preparation of the ACSP or YCS and the provision of support and that the local authority must collaborate with the carer in respect of those matters. The carer must also be provided with any assistance reasonably required in order to be able to express views or make an informed choice about options for self-directed support.

We intend that the local authority will also be required to take into account the views of the carer, so far as it is reasonable and practicable to do so, when determining the needs of the person being assessed and deciding what services to provide and how to provide them. We will replace narrower obligations that already exist about taking a carer's views into account in the current assessment provisions.

We will issue guidance especially in relation to young carer involvement in care assessments.

Question 19 What are your views on making provision for young carer involvement in the planning, shaping and delivery of services for cared-for people and support for young carers?

What we heard

There was overwhelming support for this proposal. There was recognition across all respondent groups that services for young carers need to be age-appropriate and therefore, young carers should be involved in decision-making processes.

Some respondents commented that any involvement needs to reflect young carers' rights to a childhood

The Scottish Government response

As stated above, and in relation to Question 16, we propose to make provision for young carer involvement in the relevant decision-making processes. We will also issue guidance about young carer involvement to ensure that the particular needs of young carers regarding involvement are taken into account.


Email: Alun Ellis

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