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Fifth fewer unpaid carers being supported by local authorities in England

22 October 2019

NHS Digital has today released 2018-19 data on Adult Social Care Spending in England, which includes support for those caring unpaid for adults.

The data shows that:

  • 22% (96,380) fewer carers were assessed or received support from their local authority in 2018-19 compared to 2014-15 (over the last five years).
  • 24% (12,990) fewer carers received respite or support delivered for the cared for person in 2018-9 compared to 2014-15 (over the last five years).

In the last year:

  • 4% fewer carers were assessed or supported by their local authorities during the last year (345,850 carers in 2018-19 compared to 360,310 carers in 2017-18).
  • 14% (48,555) of carers received no direct support and 54% (187,320) of carers were given information, advice and other universal services or signposting in 2018-19.
  • 2% (1,625) more carers received direct payments to choose and purchase the services they need from 2017/18 to 2018/19.
  • Gross expenditure on social support to carers was £163 million in 2018-19, a 5.5% increase from £154 million in 2017-18.

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

“Appallingly, this is the fifth consecutive year we’ve seen fewer carers in England supported by their local authority, with 22% fewer supported or assessed this year compared to 5 years ago.

“Despite breaks being essential for carers’ wellbeing, the number receiving respite has also reduced by almost a quarter.

“The fast-diminishing support for unpaid carers is simply not good enough at a time when more and more family members are having to step in to care for loved ones. Unpaid carers are propping up our crumbling social care system and being left without vital practical support and much-needed breaks from caring.

“Families desperately need Government to act now to deliver increased long term funding for social care, including more funding for breaks, so they can care without putting their lives on hold.”

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