Plans to continue charging carers for support are “missing the opportunity to strengthen the rights of carers”, according to The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland.

The Social Care (Self Directed Support) (Scotland) Bill is due to be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (28 November). As it stands, the Bill includes a provision which enables councils to extend charges for support to carers (i.e help with household tasks or training on caring for someone). 
 
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland (part of Carers Trust) in consultation with carers had recommended that this provision be removed from the draft bill. 
 
The Social Care (self-directed support) (Scotland) Bill aims to give people a wider range of options for how their social care is delivered, empowering people to decide how much ongoing control and responsibility they want over their own support arrangements. It also includes an opportunity for local councils to provide support to unpaid carers.
 
Scotland’s National Carers Strategy recognises that carers are “equal partners in the delivery of care in Scotland” and therefore require the same access to support that paid care workers receive.
 
There are approximately 660,000 unpaid carers and young carers in Scotland. Together, they contribute more care than the health and social workforce combined, saving the public purse over £10billion a year. 
 
Florence Burke, the Director for Scotland for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland (part of Carers Trust), said: “We share the concerns of carers that MSPs are not taking this opportunity to strengthen the rights of carers through a key piece of legislation.
 
“The Self-directed Support (Scotland) Bill brings together many important rights for people who receive support, whether they are carers or those being cared for. This is the optimum time to enshrine carers’ rights and it would be a great pity to miss it.”