State of Caring survey 2022
The State of Caring survey is the UK’s most comprehensive research into the lives and experience of carers. The 2022 survey closed on 11 September and we published our report on the findings on 8 November. Thank you to everyone who took part; this year we received our largest ever number of responses, with over 13,000 current and former carers telling us about their experiences of caring in the last year.
It is clear from carers’ responses this year that the cost-of-living crisis has created unprecedented pressure, which has not only affected their finances but their health and wellbeing. In October 2022, we published a report - Heading for crisis: caught between caring and rising costs - based on these findings. As well as finances, our State of Caring 2022 survey covered many other aspects of caring, from the impact of caring on health, to experiences of using support services, and the challenges of juggling work and care. We found that:
- Many carers are facing serious difficulties in getting NHS treatment, with a third (34%) of those waiting for specialist treatment or assessment waiting for over a year.
- Two thirds of those (67%) waiting for treatment said that waiting is having a negative impact on their physical or mental health.
- 41% of carers haven’t taken a break from their caring role in the last year.
- Half of all carers (51%) took over a year to recognise their caring role, with over a third (36%) taking over three years to recognise themselves as a carer.
- 75% of carers worry about continuing to juggle work and care going forward.
- With many services being reduced or cut completely, carers are extremely worried about the future: 61% said they were uncertain about what practical support they might be able to access in the next 12 months.
While Governments across the UK have taken a range of actions to provide carers with help and support, much more must be done. We have set out several recommendations on how carers should be supported, including calling for:
- A funded National Carers Strategy for England
- A review and reform of carers’ benefits
- Investment in social care to support carers with adequate breaks
- Better access to NHS and support services for unpaid carers
We will continue to use this new research to ensure that carers’ voices are heard and that carers get the support they need.