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Consultation Response

Response to carers legislation proposals

17 April 2014

Carers Scotland welcomes the opportunity to respond to this Scottish Government consultation on proposals on legislation to better support carers in Scotland. Our response reflects the wider national carer organisation and third sector responses.

It is clear, that despite saving the Scottish economy some £10 billion each year and despite carers’ invaluable contribution to enabling older and disabled people to live independently and safely in their own homes and communities, much more needs to be done.

Carers Scotland therefore warmly welcomes the Scottish Government consultation on legislation to better support carers. We hope that our response, and our joint response with the national carer organisations, will help inform and support these developments.

This consultation provides a response to the main consultation questions alongside additional areas which we believe should be included in future carer legislation.

In the first instance, we welcome the recognition that carers’ legislation should not be seen in isolation but must sit with and link with a wider programme of reform and policy development.

This should include strategy and policy linked not only to health and social care but also to other wider social issues such as employment, social security and pensions and the reduction of poverty including fuel poverty.

We also believe that it is vital to ensure that these wider reforms are “carer proofed” to ensure that they do not have unintended impacts on carers. We have, for example, highlighted in the past that targets to reduce delayed discharge can, in some cases, result in inappropriate hospital discharge with increased carer burden (often without consultation or adequate social care support) and likelihood of readmission. We discuss the issue of hospital discharge later in this consultation response.

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