Scottish Government
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Caring for our Carers

Health, social care and third sector staff will now get new guidance to identify carers and ensure they get the support they need.

They can improve their skills through Equal Partners in Care, an online resource developed by NHS Education Scotland and Scottish Social Services Council.

The resource, funded by some of the £160,000 from the Scottish Government to NES, will help staff to ensure that carers are identified, supported to manage their caring role, enabled to have a life outside of caring and recognised as equal partners in care.

Speaking recently at a reception to mark carers week (10-16 June) Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

“This Government recognises the hard work that all carers do and value their role in society.

“Being a full-time carer for a loved one can be a difficult and isolating experience at times and trying to find the right services must not be an extra challenge.

“This new resource will ensure that frontline workers, across the health, social work and other local agencies, are equipped in their role of supporting carers.

“Our carers must not go unnoticed. They have the right to play an equal and active role in care planning and decisions. They have valuable knowledge to contribute and any decision will have an impact on their caring role.

“I hope that this new resource will bring about real changes for carers in Scotland.”

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Services Council said:

“We recognise the vital contribution carers make to the lives of those they support. Whether adult or young carers, they are essential partners in care for the social services and health workforce.

“We believe that this resource will support our workforce to recognise and respond to carers' expertise, rights and support needs. Together we can contribute to a better quality of life for supported people and for carers themselves.”

Lindsay Burley, Chair of NHS Education for Scotland said:

“NES welcomes the launch of the Equal Partners in Care core principles for working with carers and young carers during carers week 2013.

“This project is an example of effective joint working between NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council and reinforces our commitment to supporting education that maximises shared knowledge and understanding for an integrated workforce.

“The resource will enable practitioners to work in partnership to achieve better outcomes for carers and young carers.”

Commenting on the new Equal Partners in Care project the Carers Week partners said:

“We welcome the launch of Equal Partners in Care. It was recognised in the Carers’ Strategy that workforce development is vital to ensure that carers are recognised and identified by health and social care professionals, and this is also reflected in the findings of Prepared to Care?

"Frontline workers are ideally placed to signpost carers to advice and support, as well as work with carers to make sure that their knowledge and understanding of the person they care for are fully considered by professionals when making decisions about their care needs.”

The programme contains six core principles to implement the workforce education and learning elements of the Carers Strategy. These are:

  • carers are identified
  • carers are supported and empowered to manage their caring role
  • carers are enabled to have a life outside of caring
  • carers are free from disadvantage and discrimination related to their caring role
  • carers are fully engaged in the planning and shaping of services
  • carers are recognised and valued as equal partners in care.

Carers week runs from 10-16 June, under the theme Prepared to Care?

The Carers Week partners include Age UK, Princes Royal Trust for Carers, Carers Scotland, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK.

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