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Fact sheet

Current guidance on young carers (Scotland)

The main pieces of law and guidance affecting young carers in Scotland are as follows:

Health and Community Care (Scotland) 2002, Section 9 Young Carers

The Community Care & Health (Scotland) Act 2002 extended the rights to an assessment to all young carers providing ‘regular and significant’ care. The Act also brings in new requirements for statutory agencies to ensure carers are aware of their rights and to recognise fully the care being provided by carers. The Scottish Executive issued final guidance on 31 March 2003 to Local Authorities and the NHS on how to implement this new legislation and support carers as key partners in providing care.

Guidance on implementation of Support for Carers in the Health and Community Care (Scotland) 2002, Section 9 Young Carers

Performance Measures for Young Carers Assessments

The JPIAF sub-group produced a report on single shared assessment performance measures for carers’ assessments, which consists of three consultation papers:

From the Scottish Carers Strategy, Strategy for Carers in Scotland, Scottish Executive:

The NHS and Carers

The NHS has an important role in supporting carers.

The next Scottish Executive’s Planning and Priorities Guidance for the NHS will require Health Boards and Trusts to give appropriate recognition to the needs of carers and the NHS’s response will be monitored by the Scottish Executive in the normal way.

We will take the needs of carers into account in the training of GPs, primary care teams and social workers. In addition, we currently fund the Carers’ National Association’s training unit which from January 2000 will provide a range of courses for health, social care and other professionals.

NHS Carers Information Strategies

As part of the Health and Community Care (Scotland) 2002, all NHS boards are required to have a Carers Information Strategy in place.

In recognition of this an HDL issued on 24th April 2006 sets out a legal requirement on NHS Boards to prepare and submit an NHS Carer Information Strategy. Specific elements of guidance relating to young carers state:

As a minimum an NHS Carer Information Strategy must:

  • Specify arrangements for involving young carers, through local organisations / bodies representing young carers, in developing and reviewing the NHS Carer Information Strategy.

Content of NHS Carer Information Strategies must:

  • Develop strategic proposals to address the identification and information needs of specific carer groups such as young carers and carers from minority ethnic communities.

For examples of draft NHS Carers Information Strategies, please see the following documents:

NHS Forth Valley Carers Information Strategy (120 KB)
Orkney Carers Information Strategy (198 KB)
NHS Borders Carers Information Strategy - Action Plan Draft (199 KB)
NHS Borders Carers Information Strategy - Narrative (128 KB)