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Rights of carers

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 says a carer is someone who gives you care and support when you need it.

Your carer could be:

  • your husband/wife
  • your partner
  • a friend
  • a relative
  • a neighbour

You can have more than one carer.

They can care for you and support you in different ways. For example, they can help with shopping, cooking and cleaning. They can listen to your problems and help you make decisions.

A carer is someone who helps you because they want to help you. It is not their job to do this. If someone helps you as part of their job they are not called carers. For example, a home help is not called a carer because it is their job.

Who is my primary carer?

Your primary carer is the person who gives you all, or most, of your care and support. If you have more than one carer, they must decide who the primary carer is. You can help to decide this.

You can only have one primary carer.

What are my carers' rights?

When doctors and others decide about your care and treatment they should:

  • find out what your carer thinks.
  • think about your carer's rights.
  • give your carer any information they need. They only do this if you agree.     
  • your carer can go to the Mental Health Tribunal and tell them about your care and treatment needs.

For advice on mental health and incapacity law contact our Advice Line.

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