Unpaid carers joined MSP Joan McAlpine in the Scottish parliament last week to celebrate the passing of a bill giving them legal rights and recognition.
The carers and staff from Enable Scotland also thanked Ms McAlpine for backing their campaign to strengthen the bill by making sure it included ways to help carers facing crisis.
Ms McAlpine is co-convenor of the Carers Cross Party Group in parliament and spoke in the debate which led to the bill being passed last week.
“This is a historic day because it gives Scotland’s unpaid carers the legal right to support for the first time. I am very proud that it is an SNP government that has passed this progressive legislation.”
Turning to Enable’s successful campaign to have emergency planning included in the bill she said:
“Dealing with an emergency such as illness can be doubly stressful for carers if there is no plan in place for the person they care for.
“Without a plan, completely unsuitable solutions can result, causing real harm. That’s why Enable Scotland was right to identify this as a key issue at an early stage and keep pushing until it was successfully included in the bill.
“Some local authorities already have good emergency planning – the amended Carers’ Bill means that good practice will now happen wherever you happen to live.
“Although the campaign was led by Enable, a charity for people with learning disabilities, it will benefit all carers and those they look after.
“Well done Enable Scotland, and to the health minister Jamie Hepburn for listening and responding.”
Ms McAlpine will now table a motion in the Scottish Parliament to recognise the work of ENABLE Scotland and to highlight their campaigning on behalf of carers.
Enable Scotland support the Carers’ Bill with its new emergency planning toolkit. To find out more about ENABLE Scotland’s emergency planning toolkit, visit www.enable.org.uk/emergencyplanning