Carers UK carries out an annual online survey of Carers, to learn about their personal experience and build a picture of caring in the UK. Their 2022 survey was the largest yet and the report is based on feedback from over 13,000 carers of which 12,000 are currently providing unpaid care to a friend or family member.
The report this year highlighted that the cost-of-living crisis has created unprecedented pressure, which has not only affected their finances but the health and wellbeing of carers.
The report found that:
- Many carers are facing serious difficulties in getting NHS treatment – of those waiting for specialist treatment or assessment, a third have been waiting for over a year.
- Two thirds of those 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 took over a year to recognise their caring role, with over a third 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. CarersUK 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
As always, the findings will resonate with many people and reflect their own experiences.