The Minister for Public Health will be addressing delegates at an event bringing together carer support organisations from all over Scotland this Friday (18 February 2011).
Shona Robison MSP is attending the annual Scotland Network conference at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh organised by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers on behalf of its affiliated Carers’ Centres which help Scotland’s unpaid carers and young carers. The two-day event begins today, Thursday 17 February.
The conference’s theme is leadership in difficult economic times and how Carers’ Centres can prove that they provide effective services which save money in the long run. Ms Robison’s keynote speech will focus on what the Scottish Government has done to support carers and young carers over the last few years and what needs to happen next to ensure carers can continue caring and enjoy a reasonable quality of life.
The Scottish Government published its national Carers and Young Carers’ Strategies last year. The strategies focused on short breaks, carer training, the development of carer friendly employment practices and more effective work between health and social care. The strategy for young carers also committed to funding a fourth annual Festival for young carers, an event that is organised by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
Other speakers at the conference include Jackie Baillie MSP, who will speak about the gaps between NHS and social care and how these can be addressed. Councillor Douglas Yates, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ health and well-being spokesman, is also attending and he will talk about support for carers at a local level.
Most Carers’ Centres receive some of their funding from local authorities and health boards, but with widespread budget cuts expected, the amount of money contributed is expected to fall.
Scotland’s unpaid carers and young carers – 1 in 8 of the population – save the public purse an estimated £7.68 billion a year through the health and social care they provide to parents, grandparents, children, spouses, partners and others.
Florence Burke, Director for Scotland for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: “If it wasn’t for Scotland’s unpaid carers, society simply couldn’t cope. That’s why it is vital that statutory services include carers in their policies and future planning, and continue to fund the services that support carers, such as Carers’ Centres.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
1) The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in the UK. Through a unique network of 144 independently managed Carers' Centres, 89 young carers’ services and interactive websites, www.carers.org and www.youngcarers.net, The Trust currently provides quality information, advice and support services to more than 424,000 carers, including approximately 28,500 young carers.
2) In Scotland, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers currently helps more than 49,000 adult and more than 4,000 young carers in Scotland to cope with their caring role through a network of 29 Carers’ Centres and 24 young carers’ services.
3) A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help because of age, physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.
4) The Princess Royal Trust for Carers’ annual Scotland network conference takes place at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, 81 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AU on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 February 2011.