Responding to the Care Minister, David Mowat MP’s, comments to Communities and Local Government Select Committee on adult social care funding, Chief Executive of Carers UK, Heléna Herklots, CBE, said:
“Most care in this country is provided by families and friends. This has always been the case and always will be. 6.5 million people in the UK are caring, unpaid for an older, disabled or seriously ill family member or friend, and 3 million provide this unpaid care alongside paid work. But this is getting harder. The cuts in social care and the pressures on the NHS mean that the support services we need to enable us to care are too often missing – services such as respite care; home care; and community mental health services.
The unpaid care being provided by the one in eight adults in the UK too often comes with a cost for them. Evidence from the NHS shows that carers have poorer physical and mental health; and we know from our own research that caring can also bring with it isolation as relationships with friends and family are affected. The impact of leaving work to care or reducing hours as well as the cost of paying for care is resulting in financial hardship for many.
Caring for someone is one of the most important things many of us will ever do but it must remain a choice both for carers and those receiving care. If the Government wants to enable even more of us to care for others, and support those who are already doing so, it must urgently put the support in place from social care, the NHS, and the social security system. It must demonstrate that it is caring for the carers.”