THE PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES SURVEY of adult carers in England seeks the opinions of carers aged 18 and over who are caring for another adult, on issues which affect their quality of life outside of their unpaid caring role. It usually takes place every other year, but has been delayed by a year due to the pandemic.

Carers UK has welcomed the publication of the report by NHS Digital, but highlights deep concerns about the support thousands of unpaid carers across the country are getting

  • There has been a sharp drop in the number of unpaid carers in England reporting that the person they care for has used services that allowed them to take a break for more than 24 hours (13.3 per cent of carers, compared to 19.6 per cent in 2018-19).
  • The percentage of cases where the person cared for received services allowing their carer to take a break at short notice, or in an emergency, fell from 13.6 per cent to 10.5 per cent
  • The percentage of unpaid carers with a mental health problem or illness has climbed steeply from 10.9 per cent in 2018-19 to 13.2 per cent in 2021-22.
  • The number of unpaid carers feeling encouraged and supported in their caring roles has been steadily declining. Those feeling they had no support or encouragement at all increased from 20.7 per cent in 2018-19 to 22.8 per cent
  • The numbers of carers who said there had been no discussions about the support or services provided to the person they care for in the last year grew from 31.2 per cent to 36.1 per cent. The percentage of carers who said they always feel involved or consulted dropped from 27.4 per cent to 22.6 per cent.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “This report confirms what so many unpaid carers have told us. That they are at breaking point, exhausted after more than two years of little or no outside support and an increasing sense of isolation. This is clearly impacting on their sense of value, their mental and physical wellbeing.

“We are calling on the Government to implement an urgent ‘Recovery and Respite’ plan, including breaks, desperately needed respite and care services, identification of carers, financial help, and support to juggle work and care. Doing so would recognise the enormous impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on carers’ lives, as well as the people they care for, and help to mitigate some of the  impacts that caring has on many carers’ own physical and mental health.”

* Read the report here.

* Sources: NHS Digital and Carers UK