This means they are at growing risk of needing care and support themselves, resulting in the loved ones they are caring for requiring more costly social care or being admitted to hospital, creating a surge in demand on the NHS.
Latest research shows that nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of carers in England have suffered mental ill health, such as stress and depression, while 61 per cent have experienced physical ill health because of caring. But, despite the demands of their role, a fifth (20 per cent) of carers in England have not received a carer’s assessment in the past year, which would help identify their own support needs. The LGA estimates it would cost £150 million to provide these assessments and is calling for the cost to be included in a long-term solution to paying for adult social care.
It is also calling for sufficient funding to ensure services, such as carers’ breaks, are available to all carers who need them.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Unpaid carers are the backbone of the care system, many of whom are unable to take a break, putting their own health on the line.
“But this vital network of family carers is at an increasing risk of breaking down due to the nature of the job, rising costs and demands for care, and the crisis in adult social care funding.
Following the delay in the Government’s Green Paper on Adult Social Care, the LGA has published its own green paper consultation to drive forward the public debate on what care and support is needed to improve people’s lives and how these vital services are funded.
- See futureofadultssocialcare.co.uk for more details