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Draft Local Eligibility Criteria For Carer Support - Consultation

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into effect on 1 April 2018. The Act details the advice, information and support which unpaid carers are entitled to in order to support them in their caring role enabling them to maintain their health and well being and to have a life alongside caring.

Young carers should be made aware that they are entitled to be children first and that the Act applies to them.

Unpaid carers

Unpaid carers are people who provide help and support to someone they know, such as a family member or friend, but who are not employed to do this or working as a volunteer for an organisation.

Unpaid carers are the largest group of care providers in Scotland providing vital support to the people they care for. Carers should be recognised as equal partners in care and have the opportunity to be involved in the support planning of the people they care for. Carers should also be able to decide how much care they wish to offer and to know what support is available to them.

How does the Act support unpaid carers?

From 1 April 2018, the council must:

  • Identify the support needs of carers
  • Prepare an adult carer support plan or a young carer statement if someone asks for one
  • Provide support to carers based on local eligibility criteria
  • Involve carers in planning services
  • Establish information and advice services for carers

And the health service must:

  • Involve carers in the hospital discharge planning of the people they care for

West Lothian must also prepare a local Carers' Strategy and a Short Breaks Services Statement.

Local eligibility criteria

The council is required to develop local eligibility criteria to determine what type of support carers will be offered. The draft West Lothian eligibility criteria for unpaid carers are based on the National Carer Organisations best practice framework as included in statutory guidance and consider:

  • The impact of caring on the carer
  • The level of need for support
  • The thresholds to be met to be eligible for support

Consultation on the draft West Lothian eligibility criteria

West Lothian is seeking the views of carers, the people they support, organisations and anyone else who would like to contribute, on the draft eligibility criteria for carer support. We would particularly welcome the views of carers as the criteria will be applied to them.

How to take part in the consultation

Alternatively, you can e-mail us your views at:

Or you can write to us at:

Social Policy - Eligibility Consultation
West Lothian Civic Centre
Howden South Road
West Lothian
EH54 6FF

  • The consultation closes on  28 January 2018

A summary report on the response to the consultation will be issued on completion.