As a carer you may be concerned about how coronavirus will impact your health, the health of the person you care for and/or your caring role. Lanarkshire Carers Centre have provided some useful information and guidance to help you understand the current situation and the impact this will have on their services. The Scottish Government has also issued advice for unpaid carers on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Act

  • The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016


  • A person who provides unpaid care to a family member, partner, friend or neighbour, who needs support because of their age, physical or mental illness or disability.  The person who provides them with help and support to manage their life is a carer

Adult carer:

  • An adult carer is defined in the Act as a carer who is at least 18 years of age

A duty

  • A duty is a commitment or expectation to perform some action in general or if certain circumstances arise. In the context of the Carers Scotland Act 2016 for the local authority, a duty is a responsibility or legal obligation


  • The process of working out what needs a person has and what outcomes a person is working towards, and agreeing what support might be needed to meet those needs and achieve the outcomes

Carers’ assessment

  • A carers’ assessment is carried out to work out what support needs the carer has in order to meet the outcomes they wish to achieve in their day-to-day life. This is now known as an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement

Adult Carer Support Plan

  • Replaces the "Carer's Assessment" for adult carers and sets out a carer's identified personal outcomes, identified needs for support (if any), and any other support that the responsible local authority is to provide to the carer

Adult social care:

  • Care and support for adults who need extra help to manage their lives and be independent – including older people, people with a disability or long-term illness, people with mental health problems, and carers


  • In social care, this term is often used to mean an organisation that is set up to provide care and support


  • Someone to whom a carer provides support. This is the term used throughout the Carers Act

Care for the cared-for person:

  • This is care provided to the cared-for person which replaces that usually provided by the carer. It may also be provided as a form of support to the carer so that carer can have a break from caring


  • An approach to designing support, services or tools that involves individuals and groups as equal partners in the process. This recognises that people who use services have knowledge and experience that can be used to help shape services to make them better, not only for themselves but for all those who are receiving different forms of health and social care

Eligibility criteria

  • The eligibility criteria sets out the level of need that a carer must have in order to access certain forms of support, including Self-directed Support. The criteria may include things such as whether a carer is likely to be able to meet their desired outcomes through general services, or the impact of their caring role on their wellbeing

Identified needs

  • These are the needs identified in the Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement that should be met to enable a carer to achieve their personal outcomes

Eligible needs

  • If an adult carer or a young carer has been identified as needing support to meet the outcomes which they want to achieve, their ‘eligible needs’ are those that match the requirements set by the local authority.  These are the needs for support identified in the adult carer support plan or young carer statement, to enable a carer to achieve their personal outcomes which:

           cannot be met through services available to the cared-for person, or through services generally available to people in the area of the responsible local authority or where the carer lives;

           and also meet the local eligibility criteria

Carers’ outcomes

  • These include outcomes which, if achieved, would enable a carer to provide care for the cared for person. An outcome is something a person would like to achieve or need to happen which may include, for example, continuing to live in their own home, or being able to have a break from caring in order to spend time with family members.  An assessment should help them identify which outcomes are the most important, and any support that might be needed to achieve them

Responsible authority

  • The body responsible for preparing a young carer statement. This can be either a health board, local authority, or directing authority of a grant-aided or independent school

Young Carer Statement

  • A new document for young carers which sets out a young carer's identified personal outcomes, identified needs for support (if any) and any other support that the responsible authority is to provide to the young carer

Break from caring:

  • Any form of support that enables a carer to have time away from their caring responsibilities, this can include a short break or care for the cared-for person that enables the carer to have a break

Carer Positive

  • Carer positive promotes three levels of award to encourage employers to create a supporting working environment for staff who are carers

Integration Authority

  • An Integration Authority is the body that is responsible for planning integrated care. It will decide which integrated services will be provided, how they will be funded and what they should look like. It can (and in many cases must) direct the health board and local authority to deliver those services. The body that acts as the Integration Authority for a particular area will be determined by reference to the model of integration used in that area


  • Commissioning is a process that local authorities and health boards use to plan, procure, deliver and evaluate services for carers in their area


  • The action or process of formally seeking opinions and feedback on something, for example seeking carers views on a proposed service


  • Engaging with people means ensuring that they are effectively involved in decision-making.  They have the chance to have their say and have their voice heard


  • Equal Partners in Care means that providers of health and social services and other services should listen to and involve carers in the planning and decision making processes for the person they care for; creating an environment of mutual respect

Health and social care integration

  • ‘Health and social care’ is used to cover the whole range of policies, programmes, services and facilities in both health and social care settings. Integration means the formal joining together of both health services and social care services. For example, most social work and healthcare services will be integrated services

Health and Social Care Partnerships

  • Health and Social Care Partnerships, (HSCPs) are the organisations formed as part of the integration of some services provided by health boards and local authorities in Scotland

Information and advice

  • Providing knowledge and facts and recommendations regarding care and support. This can help a person identify their options or a possible course of action, as well as other places to access care, support or further information

Independent sector

  • The independent sector covers both private and voluntary (third sector) social care providers, who may provide services on behalf of statutory agencies, such as local authorities

Integration authority

  • Established between the local authority and health board, an integration authority has the responsibility to ensure that various local authority and health board functions are delivered

Kinship carer

  • A relative or close friend looking after a child in place of the child’s parents. In some cases they will have a kinship carer agreement with the local authority

Care Needs assessment

  • A needs assessment identifies care and support needs and outcomes that the adult wishes to achieve in their day-to-day life, whether those needs are eligible for care and support from the local authority, and how provision of care and support may assist the adult in achieving their desired outcomes

National Health and Social Care Standards

  • The Health and Social Care Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland. They seek to provide better outcomes for everyone using these services and to ensure that individuals are treated with respect and dignity and that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld

National matters

  • Some aspects of eligibility criteria do need a national approach rather than being set at a local level. The Act ensures that when setting local eligibility criteria, these national matters must be taken into consideration. One example of this is the preventative approach. National matters ensure that locally set criteria encourage a preventative approach to carer support


  • Working together to benefit the person who needs support and/or the carer.  Partnerships can consist of different professionals and organisations sharing knowledge, expertise and resources. Importantly partnerships developed with the carer can help to achieve outcomes for the cared-for person as well as the carer in their own right

Personal budget

  • One of the options in self-directed support is to have a personal budget. This is an agreed amount that is identified to meet an individual’s assessed needs and outcomes. This budget can be used to arrange or purchase the products, services and support needed to meet these outcomes

Person-centred approach

  • A way of working which puts the individual's needs and desired outcomes at the heart of the process.  It means shaping services and supports around the person rather than trying to fit the person into a service that may not meet their needs

Preventative (services/approach)

  • Working in a way to help avoid crisis by providing effective supports to enable a person to maintain their health and wellbeing and manage their caring role


  • The organisation providing supports or services

Responsible authority

  • The local authority for the area in which the cared-for person lives. Many of the duties under the Carers Act are for local authorities to exercise


  • Human rights are a set of rights and freedoms that every person is entitled to. In the context of the Carers Act there are additional rights which are what a person is entitled to receive. This includes the right to receive an Adult Carer Support Plan, or to be included in the hospital discharge process

Self-directed Support (SDS)

  • Self-directed support (SDS) allows people to choose how the support they need is provided. A person can choose to purchase or arrange to meet their health and social care outcomes through a number of options including taking a direct payment to buy services themselves, having the funder pay for a service the person has chosen themselves, or through the local authority arranging for a service

Short breaks

  • A short break can take any number of forms in order to achieve the carer’s desired outcomes. The purpose is for carers to have a life outside or alongside their caring role, supporting their health and wellbeing. This also benefits the cared-for person and others (e.g. family members) and sustains the caring relationship

Short Breaks Services Statement

  • A publication each local authority must produce to set out information about short breaks services available in Scotland for carers and cared-for persons


  • Directing people to services, sources of information, or other organisations that can provide support that may be able to help or provide relevant information, or specialist information


  • People with a shared interest in something. For example, the stakeholders in a service might be the provider, a funder, the service users, and the carers of the people who use the service

Strategic commissioning

  • This is where the body commissioning services does so to address long term and large scale issues, which is different to commissioning for individuals. It includes a process of identifying groups of people and/or the whole population in the area and identifying and analysing their needs and aligning resources to make strategic long term improvements

Strategic needs assessment

  • Takes a long term and whole system approach, which is different to assessing individual needs. It includes a process of identifying groups of service users and/or whole populations and a strategic approach to analysing needs and aligning resources

Social care

  • Social care is a difficult concept to pin down to a simple definition. Broadly speaking it covers a wide range of services provided by local authorities and the independent sector to adults

Supported person

  • This can describe people who receive support from carers and/or from care staff, or a combination of both. (See also Cared-for person)

Universal service

  • Services, for example libraries, transport, and leisure facilities that are accessible to everyone in a local area and are not dependent on assessment or eligibility to access


  • Wellbeing is how we feel, think and behave. It is affected by lots of things, such as where we live, whether we feel useful and valued, and the kinds of relationships we have with others. Wellbeing is important for everyone

Young carer

  • A child or young person under the age of 18 who has a significant role in looking after someone. This might be practical responsibilities such as cooking or carrying out other household tasks but can also include when a child has a supportive role or is emotionally or practically affected by a family member’s care needs. A young adult carer usually refers to a carer between 16–24 years of age

Young Carer Statement

  • The Carers (Scotland) Act gives young carers who are under 18, or over 18 and still at school the right to have/request a Young Carers Statement (YCS). Completing a Young Carer Statement will focus on their needs as a carer