Strachur Community Council
Minutes of Special Meeting
Held 19:30 on Wednesday 21st March 2018
Strachur Memorial Hall
Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Kirstie Reid, Iain Wilkie (Secretary).
Also in attendance: David Halliday, Carers Act Implementation Officer, Argyll & Bute HSCP; Ian Asher, Strachur Patient Participation Group; Cathleen Russell (Convener) and Cathy Grant (Community Councillor), Colintraive & Glendaruel Community Council.
1. Convener’s opening remarks:
Archie opened the meeting with a general welcome. The low turnout was disappointing but no doubt due to a combination of bad weather and the closure of the A815 following an accident.
Ceci Alderton, Les Earle, John Fleming, Heather Grier, Iain MacInnes, Isabel McGladdery, Cllr Alan Reid, Eleanor Stevenson.
3. Presentation on the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.
David Halliday outlined the new Act and its implications.
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 will come into force on 1.4.18. The final guidance from the Scottish Government will be signed off at the end of this month, though draft guidance is currently available online at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Support-Social-Care/Unpaid-Carers/Implementation/Carers-scotland-act-2016.
Local authorities presently have the power to provide carer support; with the new Act they will have a duty to provide support. Because the Scottish Government decided against setting national eligibility criteria (due to the diversity of needs profiles across the country), Local Authorities will set their own criteria, which they are required to publish and review. Argyll & Bute will employ a ‘risk matrix’:
- no risk (would apply to early stage carers too inexperienced to be able to assess their needs);
- low risk (more experienced carers beginning to identify their needs);
- moderate risk (carers becoming increasingly aware of the impact on their lives);
- severe risk (carers’ lives starting to be severely affected);
- critical risk (carers need support as soon as possible).
Argyll & Bute will prioritise support for carers at ‘severe’ and ‘critical’ risk, though this will not exclude other levels.
‘Care’ is any form of regular care provision and could include activities such as collecting medication regularly or providing meals on a regular basis.
Carers can self-refer or be referred by anyone who is aware of their carer role (but always with the carer’s knowledge and consent: not every carer wants to be ‘identified’ or become involved with Social Work Services.)
Identified carers will be referred to a Carers Centre, which will provide information and ‘point them in the right direction’, e.g. for benefits maximisation, carers’ rights etc. The local Carers Centre is ‘Crossroads’, 61/63 Argyll St., Dunoon PA23 7HG.
Identified adult carers will be offered an adult carer support plan (ACSP) and young carers (aged under 18 or over 18 but still at school) a Young Carer Statement (YCS). The ACSP and YCS are intended to identify carers’ needs and personal outcomes, and should include signposting and access to any relevant supports, for example, universal or community-based services. Information contained in the YCS can be provided to the young carer’s Named Person, though there is no duty in the new Act to do so.
Support may take the form of a personal budget. It may also take the form of respite, which could be in a Care Home setting, in a home setting or even at a family holiday location.
It was recognised that, even if a carers do not want to be identified and enter any formal process, even knowing that they can just drop into a Carer Centre and “have a chat” may be enough to stop them reaching “breaking point”. This emphasised the need for the new Act to be widely and effectively publicised.
a. In the light of the last point above, it was surprising that there had been so little publicity to date.
b. The new Act has cost implications. How would these be met in the context of the HSCP having to deliver savings of £14 million next year? David Halliday reported that additional money would be provided by the Scottish Government for the implementation of the Act. Other participants noted it was possible that the extra funding would not cover additional costs.
c. How would Social Work Services cope with the additional workload? According to David Halliday, as we are now in the era of the Health & Social Care Partnership, the extra work should be spread across different departments.
d. What is the role of GPs? Do GPs keep lists of local carers? Current information suggests that some GPs keep lists. Others code patients’ files if they self-identify as carers and this is approved by the GP. David Halliday emphasised that Social Work send information on identified carers to GPs, but that there is a weaker flow of information in the opposite direction.
5. Archie thanked David Halliday for his presentation and the other attendees for participating in the discussion.
For further information on the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, contact David Halliday (firstname.lastname@example.org 01369708659 07824522031). He would be happy to discuss the new Act with other Community Councils.
Secretary, Strachur Community Council