Carers Trust welcomes King's Fund report on importance of unpaid carers to the care system
Unpaid carers are propping up the care system but are often unable to access the support they need, a report by the King’s Fund says.
The report, which was supported by Carers Trust, found the work unpaid carers do is equivalent to that of four million paid care workers.
Researchers interviewed commissioners and providers of support to unpaid carers and ran focus groups with unpaid carers in four areas of England.
They concluded that better support was needed for unpaid carers locally and that “commissioners and services need to develop and maintain a good understanding of their populations, build local support offers accordingly, and embed awareness of carers in strategic-level and commissioning decisions”.
Services also don’t currently reflect the diversity of the caring population, the report said.
The report highlighted the importance of Integrated Care Systems - partnerships of organisations which plan and provide health and care services in local areas – in supporting unpaid carers.
Rohati Chapman, Executive Director for Programmes, Policy & Impact at Carers Trust, said:
“Carers Trust welcomes this important report, which shows local carer support services are often made far too complex because strategic intent doesn’t marry up with commissioning and implementation.
“We’re a charity with a network of over 125 carer organisations who provide vital support to around a million carers in 85% of local authority areas across England, Scotland and Wales. Integrated Care Systems are critical in creating conditions for carer support and all leaders in this new world must absolutely understand the value of carers and carer organisations in delivering a high quality, local care system.”