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Carer's Support (Scotland) Act 2016

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. This comes at a time when there is increasing pressure on health and social care services, and greater reliance on those who take on caring responsibilities. The Act aims to ensure that carers are supported more consistently, so they can continue to care if they wish, and are able to do so in good health and with a life alongside their caring responsibilities.

The Act gives carers new rights including the right to have or request an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement, and also sets out duties relating to support, breaks from caring, hospital discharge, and information and advice.

Key facts:

From 1 April 2018, the following will apply as a result of the Carers Act taking effect:

Adult Carer Support Plans/Young Carer Statements: Carers have the right to be offered or request an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Young Carer Statement (YCS), setting out their personal outcomes and identified needs.

Information and advice: Local authorities are required to establish and maintain an information and advice service for carers. They must also publish and keep under review a Short Breaks Services Statement. This statement must be published by 31st December 2018.

Support to carers: Local authorities have a duty to provide support to carers, based on the carer’s needs which meet local eligibility criteria.  Local authorities also have powers to enable them to provide support to carers who do not meet local eligibility criteria.

Breaks from caring: Local authorities are required to consider whether any support provided should include, or take the form of, a break from caring.  They must also have regard to the desirability of breaks being provided on a planned basis.

Hospital discharge: Health boards have a duty to inform the carer and to invite their views before a cared-for person is discharged from hospital. These must be taken into account before the discharge of the cared-for person.

Carers Charter: Scottish Government have published a Carers’ charter which sets out the rights of carers in or under the Act.

For more information, visit the Scottish Government’s Carers Charter or if you prefer, you can download the attached document - Carers Charter.pdf.

Carers Act Fact Sheet - Carers Act Factsheet.pdf

You can also contact VSA Carers Resource Service at 01224 212021 or


The Coalition of Carers in Scotland have worked together with carers, carer support agencies and health and social care staff to produce a series of leaflets to explain in simple terms what carers can expect from the new Carers’ Act.  They provide information for:


  • Adult Carers Support Plans
  • Short Breaks
  • Hospital Discharge
  • Emergency Planning


You can view and download the leaflets below.

What to expect from the Carers Act.pdf

What to expect when you make an adult carer support plan.pdf

What to expect when the person you care for is being assessed.pdf

What to expect when you are considering a short break.pdf

What to expect when you make an emergency plan.pdf

What to expect when the person you care for is being discharged from hospital.pdf





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