2 October 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Plans to Further Rights of Carers

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the Scottish Government’s plans to bring about specific legislation that will promote, defend and extend the rights of carers and young carers.

A widespread consultation on this new legislation for carers and young carers will start before the end of this year. This marks a significant step forward in recognising and addressing the needs of the 657,000 unpaid adult carers and up to 100,000 young carers who care for their families, friends and neighbours.

Stewart Stevenson commented:

“Carers play a vital role in looking after friends and relatives.

“However, we must remember that when taking on these roles, there must also be support for carers available. Carers need to be able to socialise and remain in work if they wish to do so.

“I therefore welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to take action on this issue and would encourage anyone who encourage any carers in Banffshire and Buchan Coast to respond to the consultation when it opens.”

First Minister Alex Salmond MSP announced the legislation plans at the 2nd annual Carers’ Parliament in Edinburgh. Speaking at the event the First Minister, said:

“This Government recognises the vital role that carers play in looking after the most vulnerable in society. We know that being an unpaid carer can be a difficult and isolating experience and we want to do all that we can to make sure we are doing everything within our powers to help carers in Scotland.

“Progress is being made including the setting up of this Carers’ Parliament - giving carers a voice and an important platform to raise and discuss issues of concern.

“However, more must be done to ensure carers are supported properly and are fully involved in decisions affecting their lives and those they care for. Therefore I am delighted to announce that the Scottish Government will consult on legislation to support carers and young carers. The consultation period will start before the end of the year and I would encourage all those who are interested or affected to feed into the consultation process.”

Simon Hodgson, Director of Carers Scotland, said:

“Most people will be carers at some point in their lives and today’s announcement marks another important milestone in recognising the crucial role carers play in homes across the country. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure carers are able to help shape the details in the months ahead.”

Shared Care Scotland, Chief Executive, Don Williamson, said:

“Over recent years the Scottish Government has worked together with a range of interests to promote the vital contribution made by carers in Scotland, and to increase the levels of support available to help carers with their caring role. This is making a real difference in many areas but we all appreciate that more must be done to ensure carers can rely on consistent availability of support across the country. We therefore warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment today to build on the progress that has been made, and to consult on further ways carers can be supported, and their own health protected, through new duties and legislation.”

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