Aberdeen carers strategy backed by Integration Joint Board

Thu 29 Mar 2018

Aberdeen’s Carers Strategy has been approved by the city’s Integration Joint Board.

The strategy – covering both adults and young carers – is a requirement of the new Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, which comes into force on 1 April.

The Act extends the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their health and wellbeing.

The ‘Aberdeen City Carers Strategy – A Life Alongside Caring’ covers:

  • plans for identifying carers and gathering information about the care they provide;
  • the support available and the extent to which demand is not being met;
  • plans for support and help with emergency arrangements;
  • an assessment of how support for carers could help their health and wellbeing;
  • timescales for preparing adult carer support plans and young carers statements;
  • information relating to the particular needs and circumstances of young carers.

The strategy was developed by representatives from Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership, Aberdeen City Council’s Integrated Children’s Services, the third and independent sectors, and carer representatives. An estimated 1,000 carers were able to provide their views on what is important to them.

IJB chair Jonathan Passmore said: “Our strategy shows our commitment to support the city’s unpaid carers to the greatest extent possible within the resources available. They provide services of enormous value to their families, friends and the wider Aberdeen community, and without them a far greater burden would fall upon the health and care services.

“A significant amount of work has gone into the preparation of the strategy and we intend to carry out ongoing consultation and engagement activities throughout the lifespan of the strategy to test how we are doing.”

Under the Act, there is:

  • a new right for carers to be offered or request an adult carer support plan or young carer statement, setting out their personal outcomes and identified needs;
  • a duty to provide support to carers, based on their needs which meet the local eligibility criteria;
  • a requirement to maintain an information and advice service for carers;
  • a duty to involve carers and carer representatives in planning and evaluating the services that support carers;
  • a requirement to consider support in the form of a break from caring;
  • the publication of a carers charter, which sets out the rights of carers under the Act.

Information and advice for adult carers is available from the VSA Carers Resource Service at https://www.vsa.org.uk/carers-and-support-people/adult-carers-aberdeen-city/, email Carers.Info@vsa.org.uk, tel 01224 212021. Information about the Act is included in the service’s latest newsletter https://www.vsa.org.uk/carers-and-support-people/adult-carers-aberdeen-city/carers-resource-service-newsletter/.

The Carers Strategy will be officially launched during Carers Week 2018, which will run from 11–17 June and will focus this year on helping carers to stay healthy and connected. Events for the week will be listed on the VSA website at www.vsa.org.uk once the programme has been finalised. Ideas for the programme can be passed on via the contact details above.