LEADING charities are calling for prospective MSPs to commit to safeguarding the provision of services that provide carers with much needed breaks from their caring responsibilities.
Says Don Williamson, chief executive, Shared Care Scotland: “There is growing evidence of significant reductions in respite care services across Scotland.
“Providing short break opportunities for carers and cared-for people is now widely accepted as vital to sustaining the caring relationship at home, and the health and well-being of carers. Carers must not be left to care without the support to have time for themselves.
“Increasingly, we see that these vital preventative supports are reduced or withdrawn and carers are left to fend for themselves.
“The picture is so varied across the country that it is time to protect those carers in greatest need in particular.
“New MSPs will have the chance to safeguard these vital services and we need their commitment now. We also believe that going forward there remains a strong case to establish a minimum entitlement to breaks from caring.”
The National Carers Organisations, of which Shared Care Scotland is one, have drawn together a Manifesto for Unpaid Carers in Scotland – for the candidates to sign up to.
For short breaks, they want all political parties to:
- Ensure local authorities are properly resourced and accountable for delivering their Carers Act commitments, including greater availability and choice of short breaks and free replacement care to eligible carers;
2. Monitor the availability, reach and impact of short break services across Scotland to help reliably measure changes in provision over time;
3. Commit to a detailed, independent examination of the potential social, health and economic benefits of introducing a guaranteed minimum entitlement to breaks from caring; and
4. Continue to support the voluntary sector short breaks fund to help expand the provision available.
You can follow the campaign on Twitter with #fairerforcarers
Notes to editors:
Shared Care Scotland is a charity campaigning for improved breaks for unpaid carers in Scotland. They are part of the National Carers Organisations.
The National Carer Organisations are brought together by a shared vision that all Scotland’s unpaid carers will be valued, included and supported as equal partners in the provision of care and will be able to enjoy a life outside of caring.
They are Carers Scotland, the Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP), Carers Trust Scotland, the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance, Crossroads Caring Scotland and Shared Care Scotland.
Shared Care Scotland
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