Scottish Government - Carers Charter
Alzheimer Scotland responded to the Scottish Government as part of their consultation on a draft of the Carers Charter, which related to the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.
Section 36 of the Act required Scottish Ministers to prepare and publish a Carers’ Charter, setting out the rights of carers. The Charter aimed to provide a summary of these rights in an accessible and understandable format for both young and adult carers alike.
Summary of Response
Alzheimer Scotland's response was informed by the National Dementia Carers Action Network and local networks of carers, based on their lived experience.
Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the publication of the draft Charter, noting the benefits of empowering carers to understand their rights through accessible formats. We noted the success of the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers as a successful example of where this could work.
Additionally, Alzheimer Scotland welcomed:
- The broadening of the definition of who was considered as a carer and thus eligible for an Adult Carer Support Plan.
- The inclusion of a specific section on the need to involve carers in decision-making in relation to the provision of services within an Integrated Joint Board (IJB) area.
- The inclusion of a section welcomes on hospital discharge, with carers having shared that this was a key aspect of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.
Alzheimer Scotland highlighted a number of concerns carers had expressed with the Charter, including:
- A number of the core issues with support for carers, including eligibility criteria and limited scope for choice and control, was felt to be outwith the scope of the Charter. However, carers were clear that without the resolution of these issues, the Charter would not improve their personal outcomes,
- The problems of local eligibility criteria, which often limit the level of support a carer will receive. There was considerable concern amongst carers that the rights within the charter would mean little if
- Insufficient information or reference to the way in which carers may exercise choice and control, e.g, an extremely limited inclusion of Self-Directed Support.
- An over-emphasis on reflecting the wording of the primary legislation (which is unhelpfully ambiguous) and a lack of reference to other legislation and policy which underpin the rights of carers.