Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed the introduction of a new law which will ensure carers in the Western Isles are given a greater say about the support given to them.
The Carers Bill, passed last week by the Scottish Parliament, will grant carers the right to request an assessment of their need for support and entitle them to consultation over hospital discharge.
Local authorities will be required to provide information and advice to carers as well as publishing local carer strategies.
The Scottish Government has invested nearly £123 million in support programmes for carers, including funding for short breaks and for health boards to provide direct support.
Alasdair Allan commented: “This will be welcome news to the significant number of carers we have here in the isles. It is clear to me from meeting groups like Western Isles Carers, Users & Supporters Network that the needs of carers should continue to be at the forefront of our minds when the Government makes policy. Indeed, Nicola Sturgeon’s first meeting as First Minister was with carers – demonstrating that carers will always be a top priority for the SNP in government.
“The measures contained in the Bill will help give carers the support they deserve and enshrine carers’ rights in law for the first time – moves welcomed by carers groups across Scotland. The Bill will also ensure that carers across the isles are able to have a life alongside caring – as well as supporting them as they continue to provide care.
“We owe unpaid carers an enormous debt of gratitude and this Bill helps to recognise the enormous contribution that carers make to their families and to the country as a whole.”