The Scottish Conservatives have launched a review group to help develop ideas to help the country’s hundreds of thousands of carers.
The organisation will be unveiled at an event in Angus today, and will be co-chaired by high-profile dementia campaigner Amanda Kopel, whose husband Frank’s Law is named after.
The National Carers Support Review Group will aim to help the estimated 790,000 carers in Scotland.
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs, who will also co-chair the body, said it was time to develop firm policies which would improve the lives of carers young and old.
He will now work with carers, charities and industry organisations to come up with plans to be included in the Scottish Conservative manifesto ahead of the 2021 Holyrood elections.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:
“We have been the leading voice of change for carers in the Scottish Parliament.
“From delivering increases in the carers’ allowance and securing the delivery of short breaks for carers, to Frank’s Law and the extension of free personal care for the under 65s, our commitment is clear.
“As we look ahead to the next Scottish Parliament elections, we want to go further and make sure that the next Scottish Parliament will deliver and support Scotland’s carers and put them at the centre of policy discussions.
“That’s why the Scottish Conservatives are reaching out to all the organisations and charities who support the hundreds of thousands of adult and child carers across the country.
“As a party, we are determined to do more for them and thank them for the vital care they deliver.”
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:
“There are hundreds of thousands of carers, young and old, across the country.
“If it wasn’t for them, life would be impossible for some of the most vulnerable people – they deserve to be rewarded and looked after.
“That’s exactly what we’re attempting to do with this announcement, and look forward to working with those affected to make these proposals become a reality.
“It’s also a sign that we are thinking ahead to 2021, and what we can do as a Scottish Conservative government for the people of Scotland.
“In its 12 years in government, the SNP has been so distracted and incompetent, it has failed to deliver on ideas such as these.”
Scottish Conservative Angus MP Kirstene Hair said:
“With three in five people becoming carers at some point in their lives, this is an incredibly important issue
“Many carers are left trying to juggle their caring responsibilities while holding down a job.
“They sacrifice so much for others, yet tragically find little support for their own needs.
“The carers policy forum is an opportunity for those who care for others to finally have their voices heard.”
Frank’s Law campaigner Amanda Kopel said:
“This is hugely important, as there are so many carers out there who need help.
“I know there are a lot of carers whose loved ones are still not getting help despite Frank’s Law coming into place.
“I didn’t know what it was like to be a carer before Frankie – no-one is born a carer, we have to learn.
“I’ve walked in the shoes of a carer and know the reality of how difficult it can be.”