Shared Care Scotland’s response to the Scottish Government consultation on a National Care Service for Scotland.
We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to build on the progress that has been in achieved in recent years. However, it is now essential we find further ways that both adult and young carers can be supported through the new National Care Service (NCS), and the improvements in policy, practice and culture set out in the NCS consultation document. This must include meaningful and measurable improvements for unpaid carers regarding short breaks, combined with a reformed social care workforce which is valued, trained, and developed. Wider social care reforms must also benefit unpaid carers.
At the heart of reform regarding the proposed right to a break, there needs to be a human rights approach meaning that carers should have a life outside of caring and good health and well-being, facilitated by regular breaks. The emphasis too often is on crisis intervention or preventative approaches which makes short breaks provision reactive and mechanical in planning and delivery.
In our response to the proposals, we have drawn on the evidence we have that indicates how the conditions could be created to provide more, better, and improved access to short breaks. We believe these conditions are necessary to ensure a right to a break will make a meaningful difference. This includes action to address:
- A more developed market in short breaks provision that offers greater choice and flexibility and is sensitive and responsive locally to considerations such as geography, age of population and support needs
- The provision of what is often regarded as the more expensive or difficult options such as overnight or weekend respite
- An understanding that the break must be delivered sensitively and in a person-centred way that benefits both the carer and cared-for person without adding to stress
- Much simpler and clearer access to breaks
- There is less time-consuming and intrusive assessment to access breaks
- As well as a human right approach, equalities and diversity are at the heart of decision-making and implementation
- Confidence in the quality and availability of replacement care when it is required
- More attention paid to the role of community, mainstream leisure providers, and volunteering in supporting the expansion of universally available breaks.
Read our full response to the National Care Service consultation here: Shared Care Scotland NCS Response FINAL
The National Carer Organisations have also provided a joint response: National Carer Organisations NCS Response (FINAL)