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New research launched today by Aviva suggests an estimated 2.6 million people in the UK aged 45 and above expect to give up work to care for older or disabled relatives. The research shows the impact is likely to be greater for women than for men, with 20% of women believing they would need to give up work to care compared with 17% of men.   

Yet the research found that only 6% of employers were treating this as a critical issue. 

  • Freedom of Information request reveals unpaid carers seeking replacement care for loved ones subjected to a postcode lottery
  • Hundreds of thousands of carers going without enough sleep or seeing a doctor
  • Give carers a break if we truly want to improve our social care system

The Chancellor today (Wednesday 4th September 2019) set out the Government’s spending priorities in a one-year budget review, committing £1.5 billion to social care.

Ahead of the Government’s one-year spending review tomorrow, Wednesday 4th September, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK last week wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP, and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, to reiterate key short term spending priorities for unpaid carers.

She called on the Government to use this opportunity to increase support for carers; specifically, by doubling the amount of money available for carers’ breaks through the Better Care Fund, to ensure carers get the much needed respite that they need.

Carers UK also calls on the Government to confirm a short-term injection of funds to bridge the immediate funding gap for social care, and to outline in detail a sustainable and effective plan for how social care will be delivered and funded over the longer-term.

The National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence (NICE) has today published draft guidelines for local authorities and health and social care practitioners on supporting unpaid carers.

The guidelines include directing carers to appropriate financial and emotional support, as well as encouraging them to discuss supportive working arrangements with their employers.

NICE has also recommended introducing peer support groups and appointing a carers’ champion within the workforce, who can implement the recommendations made in the guidelines and help other staff understand the responsibilities outlined in the Care Act 2014.

The Work and Pensions Committee has today released a critical report on the Department for Work and Pensions' handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments. The Committee calls on the DWP to completely reassess its approach and consider writing off debts due to its own protracted administrative failures.

The Department for Health and Social Care has today (Tuesday 23rd July 2019) published its one year progress review of the Carers Action Plan, which was initially launched on 5th June 2018 and set out how the Government would improve support for unpaid carers in England over the next two years (until 2020).

The Prime Minister has today (19th July 2019) launched a consultation on parental leave entitlements called Good Work Plan: Proposals to support families. The consultation addresses statutory paternity leave for fathers and neonatal leave for parents of premature and sick babies, but does not address care leave for unpaid carers that the Government has promised to consult on.

Carers UK calls on leadership candidates to put UK’s families first and commit to funding adult social care

New research released today by Carers UK, the leading membership charity for people caring unpaid for family and friends, shows unpaid carers are “bankrupting their future to pay for the present”.

The Government Equalities Office has today (3rd July 2019) released a roadmap for gender equality in the UK. In it, the Government commits to advancing gender equality in the workplace. It will consult on care leave for those who are balancing work and unpaid care and will support employers to improve their offer to carers.

Carers UK responds to latest budget survey from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) carries out a survey each year of the 150 Directors of Adult Social Care in England.The report based on the survey provides data and evidence on the breadth of social care from those who are at the heart of commissioning and delivering it.

Key findings include:

  • £700 million savings planned to adult social care budgets in 2019/20.
    £7.7 billion cumulative savings since 2010.
  • For 2019/20, only 33 per cent of directors of adult social services are fully confident that planned savings of £699 million will be fully met in the year, with 65 per cent directors being partially confident.
  • 39 per cent of Directors of Adult Social Services (DASSs) stated the biggest pressure to adult social care budgets was from working age adults (17 per cent in 2017/18).
  • Only 35 per cent of DASSs are fully confident that budgets will be sufficient to meet all of their statutory duties in 2019/20.
  • Directors are least confident about meeting statutory duties relating to care market sustainability (62 per cent 2019/20, 79 per cent 2020/21), followed by prevention and wellbeing.

New data has been released today by NHS Digital on unpaid carers in England and the impact of caring on their quality of life. The survey of 50,800 adult carers in England reveals a worsening impact on carers' own health and wellbeing and finances with higher levels of sleep deprivation, stress and depression.

Responding to the findings Helen Walker, Chief Executive at Carers UK, said:

‘Living longer and old-age dependency – what does the future hold?’ the new data release from the ONS suggests that as we look at the impact of an ageing population we need to revisit the way we think about our ageing population and its impact on economic dependency.

  • 54% of carers report reduced levels of sport and physical activity because of caring.
Carers UK and Sport England have teamed up to understand how to use sport and physical activity to combat loneliness and boost well-being amongst older carers.

The Department of Health and Social Care has today (Wednesday 12th June 2019) launched its £5 million Carers Innovation Fund to develop innovative approaches to support unpaid carers.

The fund will invest in creative and cost-effective new ways to support unpaid carers, outside of mainstream health and care services; helping to build more carer-friendly communities.

Carers UK is working with Centrica in a bid to help one million carers stay in or return to work by 2020.

New research by the leading carers’ charity Carers UK estimates nearly a quarter of a million NHS workers (247,000) in England are juggling work and caring for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.

The National Audit Office has today (Friday 26th April 2019) released a report on its investigation into overpayments of Carer's Allowance. This is the main benefit for people caring for more than 35 hours a week.

In his Spring Statement today (Wednesday 13th March 2019) the Chancellor did not make any commitments to the funding of social care.

More than 600 people quit work to look after older and disabled relatives every day

  • 1 in 7 of the UK workforce caring for a loved one
  • 2.6 million have quit their job to care
  • Carers UK calls for better employment rights including five to 10 days paid care leave


Research: More than 600 people quit work to look after older and disabled relatives every day
2019-02-05 00:05:00

New figures from the Office for National Statistics on sandwich carers – those who care for both sick, disabled or older relatives and dependent children - show this group are more likely to report symptoms of mental ill-health, feel less satisfied with life, and struggle financially compared with the general population. 

  • Carers UK delivers a letter from 8,200 carers calling on Amber Rudd to increase Carer’s Allowance in the rest of the UK to match change in Scotland
  • More than 750,000 unpaid carers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are £442 a year worse off compared with carers in Scotland1

Today, NHS England published its Long Term Plan, setting out the NHS’s goals and ambitions for the next decade.

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