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.
“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“Increasingly we see that these vital preventative supports are reduced or withdrawn and carers are left to fend for themselves.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.” said Don Williamson, Chief Executive, Shared Care Scotland.
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:
1. 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
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