In the few years there has been a marked cultural change in the way in which carers are recognised, both nationally and locally. It is more readily accepted that carers have rights. In particular, carers have a right to be considered as equal partners in the provision of care, and who also have a specific right to a personal quality of life which will enable them to be included in society.
This is clearly acknowledged in the development of the National Carers' Strategy 2010 for Scotland, 'Caring Together', available on the Scottish Government website. This National Strategy sets out ten key actions to improve support to carers over the five years from 2010 - 2015. The focus of these actions is on improving:
- The identification of carers
- Better outcome - based assessment for carers
- Information and advice
- Health and wellbeing
- Carer support
- Carer participation and partnership
New legislation which empowers carers in Scotland came into force from April 1st 2018.
New Carers Eligibility Criteria for Perth and Kinross
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 imposes a duty on all local authorities to develop a local eligibility criteria framework for carers in their area. The local eligibility criteria framework determines the level of support a carer can expect to receive, as well as whether the support will be provided to the carer under a mandatory duty or a discretionary power.
The new Act also requires that the local authority consults individuals or bodies representative of carers and involve carers before setting the eligibility criteria.
In response to the Act we drafted a new following consultation with local carers. This was approved by the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board (IJB) on Friday 26th January 2018 following .
In drafting the framework consideration was given to other local carers eligibility criteria frameworks including the Coalition of Carers in Scotland Best Practice Framework. Current practices and carers assessments processes within Perth and Kinross were also taken into account.
The revised eligibility criteria framework relates to Adult Carers only, as a Young Carers Eligibility Framework will be developed separately.