COVID-19 in Scotland: The impact on unpaid carers and carer service support workers
“At the end of the day, although you’re a worker you’re human and we’ve been affected by Covid as well.”
Carer service support worker
About the research
Carers Trust Scotland recognise and set a value on listening to the diverse experiences of unpaid carers, local carer organisations and supporters. We carried out research to understand the experiences and challenges that the pandemic led to in Scotland for unpaid carers, and consequently, local carer support workers and local carer organisations.
Many unpaid carers found that they were spending more time caring, with less opportunity to get a break. Many felt the needs of the person(s) they care for had intensified, and found their responsibilities increasing as a result of other services being paused or closed. This impacted on unpaid carers' mental and physical health.
The challenges unpaid carers faced also had an impact on local carer support workers. Many found that their role changed to provide increasing emotional support to unpaid carers. The pausing of other services, as well as the complexity of unpaid carers' circumstances, increased the workload for many local carer organisation support workers.
The research makes recommendations and suggestions to support unpaid carers and local carer organisation support workers in the recovery phases from the pandemic.
We speak up, challenge and act when we see an opportunity or when there is an injustice. Together with unpaid carers, local carer organisations and supporters, we are bold and collaborative in creating effective change and lead the way in driving innovative ideas for improvement.
Watch our video about the findings of our research report: Covid-19 in Scotland: The Impact on Unpaid Carers and Carer Support Workers.
Read the recommendations and find out more about the experiences of unpaid carers and local carer support workers throughout COVID-19 pandemic.
Between November 2020 and May 2021, Carers Trust Scotland carried out research to understand the experiences and challenges that the pandemic led to in Scotland for unpaid carers, and consequently, carer support workers and local carer organisations.
The research found that many unpaid carers were spending more hours caring and had little to no access to respite or breaks from caring. Carer support workers said that their workload had increased tremendously and reported that unpaid carers needs had become more complex.
This report makes recommendations, built from the experiences of research participants. These can support local carer organisations to build back sustainable organisations and ensure continued quality support for unpaid carers in the future.
The recommendations made within this report were fed into the consultations regarding the Scottish Government’s new National Carer Strategy. The National Carer Strategy was published in December 2022.