The new Health and Social Care Standards (the Standards) set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide better outcomes for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.
The new Standards have been written for both people experiencing and people providing care and support. They focus on people rather than policies, paperwork and property. Instead of setting out a list of inputs that all providers must meet, these Standards are much more outcome-focused and will help everyone focus on what really matters – the experience of the cared for person.
Who is this booklet for?
This booklet is to help unpaid carers to understand and use the new Health and Social Care Standards.
An unpaid carer is anyone of any age who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. This can be for any number of hours and does not need to be on a substantial or regular basis.
The term 'carer' is often used to refer to paid care workers, who are employed by the local authority or by independent agencies to provide care and support to people who need it. It is important to make this distinction: unpaid carers carry out a lot of the same tasks as paid care workers but also have the additional emotional impact of looking after a friend or family member. When the term carer is used in the Standards, this refers to unpaid carers.
Providing unpaid care to someone, especially without support or the chance for a break from caring, can have an impact on a person's financial situation,
employment prospects and leisure opportunities, and physical and mental health. This means it is important that carers know where and how to access support for themselves as well as supporting the person they care for.
There is more information at the back of this booklet for carers to find out how to access support with their caring role.
What is this booklet about?
This booklet has been written to help carers understand how the Health and Social Care Standards relate to their caring role and to ensure that they are involved in planning and support. The Standards set out what people should expect when experiencing health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide a better care experience for everyone; to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld. This booklet explains what the Standards mean for unpaid carers and the people they look after.
You can find the Standards here: www.newcarestandards.scot
The Standards are underpinned by five principles:
|Dignity and respect||DR|
|Responsive care and support||RCS|
The Standards are for everyone – especially including people who experience care and support and those that help to provide it.
What might the Standards mean for me as a carer?
Looking after someone can be challenging at times, and unpaid carers can use the Standards as a guide for finding high quality, suitable care when supporting the person they look after to choose a service. This applies whether the person is cared for in their home, in a residential care setting, or in hospital.
The Standards help carers to have clear expectations about what care and support should be available for the person they look after, and how they should both be involved.
For unpaid carers, the principle of Be included is very important. The person experiencing care should have as much direct control as possible. Carers are equal partners in care and experienced in the care they provide, and should, therefore, be involved in care and support planning and provision for the person they look after, where this is what that person wants.
The Standards most applicable to carers are listed below.
|1.13 - RCS||I am assessed by a qualified person, who involves other people and professionals as required.|
|2.12 - BI||If I am unable to make my own decisions at any time, the views of those who know my wishes, such as my carer, independent advocate, formal or informal representative, are sought and taken into account.|
|2.17 - RCS||I am fully involved in developing and reviewing my personal plan, which is always available to me.|
|3.7 - C||I experience a warm atmosphere because people have good working relationships.|
|3.13 -BI||I am treated as an individual by people who respect me needs, choices and wishes, and anyone making a decision about my future care and support knows me.|
|3.19 - RCS||My care and support is consistent and stable because people work together well.|
|4.16 - RCS||I am supported and cared for by people I know so that I experience consistency and continuity.|
|4.17 - RCS||If I am supported and cared for by a team or more than one organisation, this is well coordinated so that I experience consistency and continuity.|
|4.18 - RCS||I benefit from different organisations working together and sharing information about me promptly when appropriate, and I understand how my privacy and confidentiality are respected.|
|4.26 - W||If I have a carer, their needs are assessed and support provided.|