New rights for unpaid carers

Significant new rights improving support and recognition for unpaid carers have come into effect.

From April 2018, by law, health boards, local authorities and others have a duty to do all they can to identify and support carers in their area.

Health boards must ensure that carers are involved in discussions and decisions about the person they care for, before they are discharged from hospital.

There are an estimated 788,000 unpaid carers in Scotland providing practical, physical and emotional support to family, friends and neighbours.

The new legislation is intended to support their health and wellbeing and help make caring more sustainable.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: “Carers play a vital role in Scottish society, providing millions of hours of unpaid care a week for friends, family and neighbours. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

“It is vital that all carers receive the support they need to look after their own health and wellbeing, and have a life alongside caring. That is what the Carers Act will deliver.”

Staff in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have received training to ensure they know what is expected of them under the act.

When patients are admitted, checks will be made to establish if they have ongoing support needs at home and to identify who provides that care.

Once identified, staff will involve carers in discussions and decisions about the person they care for in preparation for the patient getting home.

Staff will also ensure that carers know about the dedicated support that’s available to them in the community, including information on local carers’ services.

Dr Margaret McGuire, Nurse Director, said: “We want to ensure carers are recognised and valued for the information they provide and the ongoing support they provide to the person they care for.

“If the person that you look after comes into hospital, we’ll ensure that you are fully involved in discussions so that their support needs - and any support you require - are agreed before you go home.”

Contact us now for help and support: