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by Tom Freeman
10 March 2015
Carers’ rights to be enshrined in law

Carers’ rights to be enshrined in law

New legislation which will enshrine the rights of carers in law has been published today by the Scottish Government.

The new Carer’s Bill will give every adult carer in Scotland a support plan that will set out the individual’s needs and entitlement to support. Young carers will have a statement outlining similar details.

If passed, the Bill will require local authorities to meet eligible carers’ support needs, including providing short breaks, though it will be up to councils to publish local carer strategies based on the availability of services.

Minister for Health Improvement Jamie Hepburn said the Bill would help to reflect the contribution carers make to their communities and the economy.

“I hope that the measures in this Bill will go some way towards allowing carers to balance their caring responsibilities with other things they want to achieve in their lives, helping them to be happier and healthier,” he said.

Simon Hodgson, director of Carers Scotland, said the legislation was a major step in recognition for carers.

“As well as establishing some important new rights we are confident that the debates and consultations that will happen as the Bill progresses through the Scottish Parliament will both increase knowledge and raise the profile of the vital role Scotland’s carers play,” he said.

Don Williamson, chief executive of Shared Care Scotland, said many details of the Bill would be subject to debate. “Now it’s time to focus our effort on working together to deliver the best legislation we can,” he said.

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