Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

Your rights as a carer

On 1 April this year, Scotland took a major step towards extending and enhancing the rights of unpaid carers with the introduction of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. The aim of the Act is to ensure that carers are better supported in their caring role, so that they can continue to care if they wish, and are able to do so in good health with a life alongside their caring responsibilities too

It sets out a number of key measures to ensure carers know their rights and how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

What does the carers act do for carers?

One significant change is that carers have now the right to be offered, or to request, an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP), if you are 18 years old, or Young Carer Statement (YCS), if you are under 18 years old or 18 but still a pupil at school. These will replace current Carers Assessments, and will be available to all carers upon request.

An Adult Carer Support Plan will help identify carers’ personal outcomes which matter to the carer in order to carry out their caring responsibilities, as well as any other needs a carer may have.

A Young Carer Statement is a plan that sets out information about the young carer’s circumstances and caring role. The plan will set out a young carer’s personal outcomes which matter to the young carer in order continue to provide care, where that is appropriate, and have a life alongside caring. It will set out the needs a young carer may have and the support available to meet the carer’s needs.

The right to support to meet any eligible needs

Local Authorities must develop a local eligibility criteria framework, this is a decision-making tool used to identify who is eligible for support. Carers whose needs for support reach the eligibility threshold are entitled to support and will have a support plan based on their identified needs and personal outcomes.

If you are eligible for support you will be offered the option of having support arranged on your behalf or receiving a direct payment to arrange your own support. Carers may also be offered other supports such as breaks from their caring role. Support will be available for all Carers, including those who meet the eligibility threshold, and those who do not.

Carers will be able to access a wide variety of support, information and advice with or without having an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement. If a carer’s identified needs do not meet the local eligibility criteria, help and support will still be provided through existing local carer services and other supports available in the local community

Short Breaks Services Statement

The Act also outlines that local authorities must publish and keep under review a Short Breaks Services Statement. This document will contain information to help carers know what support is available locally and nationally to help them have a break from their caring.

Hospital Discharge

Hospital discharge is also covered by the Act.  Health boards have a duty to inform the carer and to invite their views, which must be taken into account, before a cared-for person is discharged from hospital.

Carer Involvement

The views of carers are also to be heard in planning and evaluating services that support carers, including local carer strategies, as there is a duty for local authorities and health boards to ‘take such steps as they consider appropriate’ to involve carers and carer representatives.

What support is available?

Self-Directed Support Brokerage

You may feel comfortable to plan and organise your own support. However, you may also prefer assistance to do this. Brokerage is an approach to support you to identify your health and social care needs and create a plan to say how you would like these to be met.

Our Self-directed Support Advisors Eileen Cairnie and Helen Harkness will listen to what is important to you and assist you to include these things in a plan for your support. There is no limit to their time and they can advise you at any stage of the support planning process to enable you to recognise ways of meeting your personal outcomes.  Our Advisors have completed accredited brokerage training and are members of the National Brokerage Network.

Learning & Development

The person whom you care for may also have eligible health and social care needs and be interested in directing their own support in addition to the care which you provide. If they choose to employ personal assistants to meet their needs our Learning & Development worker Adele Donald can provide them with bespoke training on becoming a PA employer; understanding their duties and responsibilities and empowering them to make the most of the employer / employee relationship. They can support individuals to work through the Employers Self-Assessment checklist and identify opportunities to develop skills including access to a range of accredited training which meets their needs and lifestyle.

Other sources of information and advice:

Carers Charter – Understanding your rights as a carer

The Scottish Government has now published a Carers Charter to help carers understand their rights under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. The Charter is intended to provide a summary of these rights in a readily accessible and understandable format for both young and adult carers alike.

If you would like to access this document for more information on the full range of rights in the Carers Act it can be found by visiting the Scottish Government website at:

Dundee Health & Social Care Partnership Carers Factsheets

Dundee Health & Social Care Partnership have launched a series of carers factsheets providing a range of information to support Carers, in line with requirements described by the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. The factsheets are available to download on the Dundee Health and Social Care website at:

This information will also be available on our forthcoming Carers of Dundee website. The Carers of Dundee website will be a central point for providing a range of information to Carers and agencies involved in supporting Carers.

Coalition of Carers – ‘What to expect’ Leaflets

The Coalition of Carers in Scotland have worked with a variety of carers, carer organisations and health and social care staff to prepare a set of leaflets for carers that set out what the new rights are and what to expect.

The first 4 leaflets look at emergency planning, adult carer support plans, short breaks and involving carers in the hospital discharge of the person they care for. They can be downloaded online by accessing the following link:


Dundee Carers Centre, Seagate House, 132-134 Seagate, Dundee, DD1 2HB 01382 200422 [email protected]
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