Carers UK response to COVID-19

Monday, 16 March 2020

Carers UK and Carers Trust have made a joint statement regarding the coronavirus – or COVID-19. The statement is an overview of the current advice for people who provide unpaid care.

The 2011 census found that there are 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK. They provide unpaid care to the value of £132 billion a year – roughly equivalent to the NHS. Planning must be carer sighted and understand the important role family members play in supporting elderly, disabled or severely ill people. The majority are invisible to health systems in particular, but many are also outside of formal social services, and even wider social care systems and community organisations.

The statement sets out what we believe services should be planning and preparing, making sure that everyone from Government, to the NHS, to social care understand the role that unpaid carers play in society; how they should be adequately accounted for in planning and supported.

Caring for someone can be difficult and has a negative impact on carers’ health and well-being. Carers will be taking extra precautions – stepping up beyond what they already do - to look after relatives and friends with underlying health conditions. This statement also highlights carers' concerns and questions.

Read the Joint Statement from Carers UK and Carers Trust.

Carers UK has developed information and advice for carers based on questions carers are asking us. This is being updated regularly to ensure that it follows the latest UK and Nation Governments public health advice. The advice is available here.