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Carers UK comment on the Personal Social Services Survey of adult carers in England report (SACE, 2021-22):


The national survey takes place every other year, but this time has been delayed by a year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It is conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) and seeks the opinions of carers aged 18 and over, caring for a person over 18, on issues considered to be indicative of a balanced life outside of their unpaid caring role.


Carers UK today welcomed the publication of this report. However, it highlights deep concerns in how thousands of unpaid carers across the country are feeling about the support they get:


  • 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, 42,800 carers, compared to 19.6 per cent, 57,280 people in 2018-19).
  • Likewise, the percentage of carers where the person they care for received services that allowed them to take a break from caring at short notice, or in an emergency, fell from 13.6 per cent (39,670) to 10.5 per cent (33,780).
  • At the same time, the percentage of unpaid carers with a mental health problem or illness has climbed steeply from 10.9 per cent (63,410) in 2018-19 to 13.2 per cent (75,390) in 2021-22.
  • Unpaid carers feeling encouraged and supported in their caring roles has been steadily declining, with those feeling they had no support or encouragement at all increasing from 20.7 per cent (60,520) in 2018-19 to 22.8 per cent (73,370).
  • And 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 (91,250) to 36.1 per cent (116,360). The percentage of carers who felt they always feel involved or consulted dropped from 27.4 per cent (80,090) to 22.6 per cent (72,780).

Helen Walker, Chief Executive, 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.”

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