Region’s Carers to be Supported by New Act

CHANGES to legislation around Carers are being implemented nationally from next week – gaining a strong welcome in Dumfries and Galloway.
The Carers (Scotland) Act takes effect from April 1, aimed at supporting Carers to continue in their caring role, giving Carers a stronger voice, and helping to ensure their own health and wellbeing.

Jim McColm is a Carer and also represents Carers as a member of the Integration Joint Board which is responsible for the vast majority of the region’s health and social care services.

Voicing his support, Mr McColm, from Stranraer, said: “This Act is a fantastic piece of legislation for Carers, and I’m pleased to see it being introduced in Dumfries and Galloway.
“It means that Carers in our region will be better supported on a more consistent basis, and helped to continue in their caring role with good health and a life alongside caring.
“In addition, it should help ensure that Young Carers are able to have a childhood similar to those of peers who aren’t Carers.”

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership are responsible for ensuring that changes which result from the Act are implemented.
Local eligibility criteria has been developed with the consultation and involvement of Carers and Carer organisations.

Changes include seeing Carers whose identified needs meet local eligibility criteria being given a right to specialist support.
Carers Assessments are being replaced with new outcome focussed Adult Carer Support Plans and Young Carers Statements.

There will be access to other forms of support, information and advice.
Also, where a Carer has been identified, then the Carer should be involved in the hospital discharge of the cared for person.

In some cases, Carers may not be charged for any support they receive, and they must be involved and have their views considered when determining the support and services needed for the cared-for person.

Integration Joint Board chairwoman Penny Halliday, from Stranraer, said: “This new Act is a really positive step which we’re confident will enshrine and protect Carers’ rights, guaranteeing them support where appropriate, giving them a greater voice, and backing their own health and wellbeing.

“We’re very happy to be playing a role in its introduction within Dumfries and Galloway, and are confident about the benefits the Carers (Scotland) Act will deliver from April 1.”
Lesley Bryce is a member of the Integration Joint Board and NHS Board’s Carers Champion.
She said: “I welcome this key piece of new legislation that promises to promote the rights of Adult and Young Carers in Scotland and here in Dumfries and Galloway.
“The Act is also designed to help make caring roles more sustainable so that Carers can continue to care, if they so wish, in good health.
“Unpaid Carers are the largest group of providers of care in Scotland and they should be recognised as equal partners in providing vital care and support. “Young Carers should be entitled to be children first and foremost.
“Local authorities will be required to provide information and advice on emergency and future care planning, advocacy, income maximisation and Carers’ rights.
“Caring without support can have a huge impact and can take a toll on thousands of people throughout the region. Supporting Carers to maintain their wellbeing and resilience is vital.”

More information about changes resulting from the Carers (Scotland) Act can be found by visiting the website http://www.dg-change.org.uk/health-social-care-integration/carersinfo/
Anyone with questions regarding changes resulting from the Act can find contact Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre, which serves the entire region with offices in Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Newton Stewart. Telephone 01387 248600.


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