Salmond Welcomes New Support For Carers

>> 27 July 2010

Gordon SNP MSP Alex Salmond has welcomed plans by the Scottish Government to identify and support carers across Scotland.

The strategy, unveiled by Public Health Minister Shona Robison, is backed by £5 million of funding over five years, which will allow the voluntary sector to support respite and short breaks for carers of all ages.

The adult strategy - Caring Together - lays out a ten-point plan with specific commitments to help carers. Meanwhile, in a Scottish and UK first, it includes a separate strategy on young carers - Getting it Right for Young Carers.

Measures in the strategy include:

  • Creating a Carers Rights Charter
  • Investing in carers training, building on an existing £281,000 investment
  • Improving the identification of carers by health and social care services
  • Making carers' own health and wellbeing a priority
  • Promoting carer-friendly employment practices and encouraging income maximisation
Ms Robison said:

"Carers of all ages make a huge contribution to their families and to society. Their efforts help their loved ones to continue living independently - and their contribution as unpaid workers to health and social care is worth an estimated £7.68 billion a year.

"Caring Together makes clear that we rely on carers. Our commitments in areas such as training, carer participation, health, rights and employment signify a new deal for them. They are equal partners in the care of their loved ones, and their needs must be acknowledged and met by our NHS and social work systems. This strategy has been compiled with help from carers themselves and it's clear that this is hugely important for them."

Mr Salmond added:

"Having the opportunity to take a short break from their duties is something which can make all the difference to the well-being of our carers. I’m very pleased that this money has been made available by the Public Health Minister and we will explore how this money might best be used - for example, short breaks for families with children who have disabilities would be a priority. We hope to see innovative proposals from the voluntary sector that will break new ground in this regard.

"I’m very pleased that the needs of young carers are also being recognised. ‘Getting it Right for Young Carers’ is clear that there are many positive aspects to being a young carer, but they should not suffer the burden of inappropriate caring.

“Young carers deserve to be children and young people first and foremost, and this strategy lays out how we expect services to help them achieve that."

Further information on the schemes announced can be found at:

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