Local authority duties

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).

What is 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 (LA), a duty is a responsibility or legal obligation.

The Act sets out specific duties that each Local Authority (LA) and Health Board (HB) must undertake in relation to the support of carers in their local authority area. The Act additionally specified a duty to the Scottish Ministers:

Scottish Ministers - Duty to prepare and publish a Carers Charter

The Scottish Ministers must prepare a Carers' Charter setting out the rights of carers in the Act

Local Authority - Duty to provide ACSP or YCS (Carers Assessments)

A new duty on local authorities to prepare an adult carer support plan (Section 6) or young carer statement (Section 12) for anyone they identify as a carer, or for any carer who requests one.

Duty to prepare Adult Carer Support Plans - An “Adult Carer Support Plan” is a conversation that identifies personal outcomes and any needs a carer may have.

Duty to prepare Young Carer Statement - A 'Young Carer Statement' is a plan that sets out a young carer's personal outcomes and identifies any needs a young carer may have.

[Part 2, Section 9 & 15 sets out the range of information that an ACSP and YCS must contain]. Within the Plan there is a duty on LA’s to consider the option of breaks from caring when undertaking support planning (Section 25).

Duty to set Local Eligibility Criteria

A duty on local authorities LA’s to set local eligibility criteria for carer support (Section 21).

A duty on local authorities (LA’s) to provide support (Section 24) to carers that meet local eligibility criteria.

The local eligibility criteria is a framework used to identify whether an adult or young carer should receive support from South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership to meet their identified needs.

Duty to Provide Support

A duty on the LA’s to provide carer support (Section 24). There are a wide range of both established and emerging supports and services to meet the various needs of carers in South Lanarkshire.  Carers who are not eligible for Self-directed Support (SDS)  (substantial and critical) will still receive help and support (low and moderate) and can access services such as information and advice, training and education, groups and meetings, welfare advice, advocacy and counselling etc. from both the local authority and local carer support services such as Alzheimer Scotland, PAMIS, and Lanarkshire Carers Centre. Carers may also be offered support such as breaks from caring, emergency planning and respitality.

Duty to establish advice and information services

A duty on LA’s to establish and maintain advice and information services for carers (section 34).

Information and advice is provided through a wide range of partner organisations who specialise in particular areas:

A duty on the NHS to inform and involve carers in carers’ services and hospital discharge planning

A requirement that LA’s and health boards involve carers in carers’ services, and to involve carers in hospital discharge planning (Sections 27, 28, 29, 30).

Duty to involve carers in carer services – South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership have a duty to consult with carers about shaping services that impact on their caring roles. NHS Lanarkshire have a duty to involve carers in hospital discharge planning, ensuring that before a cared-for person is discharged from hospital, carers are involved in the process.

  • Many of our partner organisations are involved in consultations, focus groups, surveys, locality and strategic meetings to ensure carers are involved in the processes that shape services across South Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership have dedicated a Carer Co-ordinator based in our NHS hospital whose role with a support team is to support carers in the hospital discharge process. The co-ordinator works with our partner organisations to find supports and services for carers to help them manage if they so wish their caring role once their cared for person returns to their community.

Duty to prepare local Carer Strategy – In partnership with community organisations, local carers and the local authority by working together we will prepare a local Carer Strategy (Section 31).

  • This will set out how we plan to deliver services for carers. The strategy will be a fluid document that will change, evolve and develop as we establish and recognise the services that best meet the needs of our carers
  • The 2019-2022 Carers Strategy will deliver four key priorities that have been decided by carers and their representatives.  The Strategy will identify how we will implement the duties and powers afforded carers by the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.  This Strategy builds on the previous strategies undertaken to date for carers

Duty to produce a Short Breaks Services Statement

The Act places a new duty on all Local Authorities to prepare and publish a Short Breaks Services Statement (Section 35).  The Local Authority must (by the 31st December 2018) have prepared and published a statement that will allow local carers to be able to understand and access the necessary information in the statement allowing them to:

  • Recognise the short breaks services available in Scotland for carers and cared-for persons
  • The information must be accessible to, and proportionate to the needs of, the persons to whom it is provided
  • The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make further provision about the preparation, publication and review of short breaks services statements

Lanarkshire Carers Centre

Phone: 01698 428090
Email: Lanarkshire Carers Centre