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Adult Carer Survey Report 2023: “Unpaid carers are not unsung heroes. We are forgotten, neglected and burnt out"

Findings from a Carers Trust survey of 3,430 unpaid carers from across the UK show 45% don’t get enough support, while 41% have seen their caring hours rocket in the past year.

For the first time, the annual research also highlights how women, those from poorer backgrounds, carers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, LGB+ carers and older unpaid carers experience additional barriers to support.

Survey findings

  • One-in-eight carers (12%) are now caring for at least 50 hours a week more than they used to
  • More than two thirds (68%) are unable to get a respite break from their caring role when needed
  • Over a third (36%) of unpaid carers don’t think the NHS understands their caring responsibilities or provides adequate support to them
  • Only 38% say Carer’s Allowance is enough to make a meaningful difference to them

“The great majority of those who care don’t do so because they don’t want to entrust the care of their loved ones to health or social care services. They do so because support, in practical and financial terms, doesn’t exist. They see no alternative, and a lack of action by the UK Government ensures this crisis continues.” - Unpaid carer Karen.

Carers Trust recommendations

  • The UK Government must reform Carer's Allowance to ensure a fair deal for unpaid carers
  • The UK Government must urgently and sustainably fund health and social care
  • Professionals must improve the early identification of unpaid carers
  • National and local government must ensure effective community provision for unpaid carers
  • National and local government and wider professionals must ensure the specific needs of unpaid carers from diverse demographic groups are understood and met
  • The UK government must support unpaid carers to get into or stay in work

How unpaid carers helped shape our research and findings

Each year Carers Trust runs a survey of thousands of unpaid carers across Britain. The surveys are designed to identify the challenges faced by carers, assess the level of support they receive and develop recommendations for policymakers based on the survey findings.

This year we have worked from the start to put unpaid carers at the heart of the survey and our research. To do this, we set up a panel of ‘lived experience advisers’ – unpaid carers who supported us across the lifetime of the project.

Their insights helped shape the survey questions and were invaluable in analysing the emerging findings from the survey. They also helped Carers Trust develop key recommendations for policymakers based on the survey findings.

Watch this video where two unpaid carers from the panel, Lavinia and Victor, describe their role in putting the survey together, as well as their reaction to some of the results.

What we heard from unpaid carers

“I wish we had someone who could support me through this journey and help me understand what’s out there – I just want to feel guided on how to be the best carer I can be, but you are left from day one to get on with it. No wonder unpaid carers feel so alone at times.”

“Carer’s Allowance is pitiful. I’ve had to give up my full-time job so my mum doesn’t go into a care home which would cost the Government thousands. Yet all I get is £76 a week?”