Legislation Lingo: Carers Act Terminal Illness Regulations

What do the new changes mean for health and social care services?

To ensure Carers get the support they need, local authorities in Scotland must offer an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Young Carers Statement (YCS) to anyone identified as an unpaid carer. These plans help carers to think about the support they may need now, and in the future. It helps identify who is best to provide the support needed, and to improve the health and wellbeing of the carer.

As part of the Carers (Scotland) Act, which enhances the rights of carers in Scotland, new directions have been laid by Scottish Ministers to introduce timescales for offering and completing these support plans for carers of terminally ill persons.

Many carers of people who have a progressive illness are likely to already have had an support plan or statement, well before the cared-for person meets the definition of being terminally ill. While this means the new requirements will apply to a small number of carers, the new local authority directions should be treated as a backstop, rather than a target.

To get you up to speed, the Partnership’s Carers Team has summarised the 7 points you need to know about the new Carers Act Terminal Illness Regulations.

  1. TIMESCALES: Once an authority identifies a carer of someone who is terminally ill, an Adult Carer Support Plan (or Young Carer Statement) must be offered within two working days. If unable to do so within 2 working days due to unforeseen circumstances, this offer must be made as soon as reasonably practicable.
  2. NOTIFICATION DATE: The ‘Notification date’ is the date which the carer accepts an offer to prepare ACSP/YCS. The ‘Substantive conversation’ must take place within 5 working days (or any other date as requested by the carer) of the notification date.
  3. SUBSTANTIVE CONVERSATION: The ‘Substantive Conversation’ is the first conversation which the responsible local authority has with a relevant adult carer. Any immediate or urgent personal outcomes and needs for support in relation to an adult carer of a cared-for person who is terminally ill are identified during the first conversation.
  4. TIMESCALE FOR COMPLETION & CARER CHOICE: Where the substantive conversation takes place within 5 days of the notification date then the ACSP/YCS must be prepared within 10 working days of the notification date. (Note: If a carer specifies a date beyond the 5 day period, a new timescale applies – see Regs section 5 (2)(b) & 5(3))
  5. ACSP/ YCS: The ACSP/YCS can be a shortened version but must cover areas set out in section 9(1)(a), (b), (e), (f), (i) and (j) of the 2016 Act. A review date must be set and, if applicable, the remainder of information which should be in the plan under section 9 should be added. Support arranged as a result of the Plan or Statement should be recorded.
  6. IMPORTANT DATES TO BE RECORDED: When completing an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement, the following dates must be recorded:

• Date we became aware of the carer and the terminal illness diagnosis.
• Date the carer accepts the offer an ACSP /YCS (notification date).
• Date of the substantive conversation.
• Date ACSP/ YCS was completed.

Downloads and feedback

Team managers should use the 7 minute briefing as a basis for discussion around the regulations. Once discussed with your team, please complete the internal form to provide feedback or submit questions which may have arisen during discussion.

Feedback now: https://forms.office.com/r/QV1j3JmruG