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Latest news

For media enquiries, please contact Kirsty Warwick, Senior Media Officer, or Chloe Wright, Policy & Public Affairs Manager (Carers UK).

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 020 7378 4937 / 07534 487 027 (out of hours) 

  • Case studies, good practice examples and spokespeople are available on request.

07534 487 027

Older carers: new research findings

07 June 2015

Older carers (aged 60 and above) were asked which services in their local communities were the best at meeting their needs and which services failed to include them.

Almost three in five (59%) older carers said that one or more of their local services is not carer-friendly. As a result:

Carers in Education: new research findings

07 June 2015

Carers were asked which education services were the best at meeting their needs and which failed to include them.

Of those carers with experience of school, sixth form or college, almost half (45%)

New research findings: Carers in the workplace

07 June 2015

Carers in the workplace: New research findings

Carers were asked about their experiences of the workplace and whether they found them to be carer-friendly or not. 

Of carers who had experience in the workplace (1543 respondents):
• Almost half (46%) found the workplace to be carer-friendly
• Yet one in three (34%) said the workplace failed to consider or support them as carers

Almost one in 10 (9%) carers rated the workplace as the least carer-friendly in their community. These carers reported the following impact of the workplace not being carer-friendly on them:

• Three-quarters (75%) said it made it more difficult to work alongside caring
• Three-quarters (74%) said it had a negative impact on their physical or mental health
• Over half (54%) said it made looking after the person they care for more difficult

Some comments from carers who responded to the survey include:

"My main problem is juggling work. I'm expected to do overtime. Gets stressful when I have to tell them I can't work due to caring."

"I work full time but my employer has been fantastic in supporting me. I can work from home and flexible hours so I can be there for my husband."

"I think my work place is more carer friendly now, but only after I had to take 3 months off work to look after my daughter when she became very ill. I would have liked support before I had to go off sick, and more understanding of the issues at home, and how they were affected by my work pattern."

"My employers have been fantastic. I work flexibly and there is a supportive free counselling service."

Useful background statistics: carers in the workplace

• Carers have a right to request flexible working hours in their workplace
• 3 million people combine caring for a loved one with paid work (Census, 2011)
• 2 million people have given up work to care (Caring & Family Finances Inquiry, UK Report, Carers UK & YouGov, 2014)
• Half of working age carers live in a household where no-one is in paid work (Caring & Family Finances Inquiry, UK Report, Carers UK, 2014)
• Almost 1 in 3 carers has seen a drop of £20,000 or more a year in their household income as a result of caring (Caring & Family Finances Inquiry UK Report, Carers UK, 2014)

Case studies

Carers Week has carer case studies who are available to speak to the media about the impact of caring on their health and as well as good experiences using services that support them.

We also have good practice case studies available of services that are able to talk about how they have adjusted their practices to meet the needs of carers. For example:

Sainsbury's

Back in 2011, Sainsbury's was one of the first FTSE 100 companies to introduce a policy to supportcolleagues who juggle work with caring responsibilities. Throughout Carers Week, Sainsbury's will help raise awareness of the importance of supporting carers with a number of events taking place in stores, depots and store support centres. A new film will also be launched featuring colleagues sharing their experiences of being carers.
Spokespeople from Sainsbury's are available for interview.

Nutricia

Jo works full-time for Nutricia and also cares for her 14 year old daughter who has a condition similar to Addison's disease – a rare, chronic condition brought about by the failure of the adrenal glands. When Jo's daughter is particularly unwell, Jo meets her every need. She washes, dresses and feeds her. She also takes Livvi to all of her hospital and GP appointments, which are frequent and often far away.

When her daughter first became unwell, Nutricia supported Jo by offering her a reduced-hours contract for six months, so she could better balance work with her caring role. Now that her daughter is able to attend school more frequently, Jo is back to work full-time. Nutricia continue to be flexible with her work hours, enabling her to balance caring and working. Jo says: "Nutricia have been fantastic in supporting me."

Employers for Carers

Employers for Carers is a Forum that helps businesses in the UK to support carers in their workforce. The Forum has around 80 members and 11 Leadership Group members, including Sainsbury's, Nutricia and British Gas. Employers for Carers offers bespoke workplace training, resources and opportunities for business leaders to meet and discuss what more can be done to create carer-friendly workplaces.

New research findings for Health & Social Care

07 June 2015

Health & Social Care: New research findings

Carers were asked which health and social care services in their local communities were the best at meeting their needs and which services failed to include them. Pharmacies were the most carer-friendly services overall, whereas care and support services were ranked the least carer-friendly.

Carers rated the pharmacy as the most carer-friendly service they receive out of all community services across health, social care, work, transport and education:
67% of carers rated the pharmacy as carer–friendly
• Only 8% of carers rated the pharmacy as not carer-friendly at all

Carers reported a mixed experience of their GP practice. Although it was the second most carer-friendly service overall, a significant number of carers rated it as the least carer-friendly service:
57% of carers rated their GP practice as carer-friendly
• However, 20% of carers said their GP practice was not carer friendly and 16% rated it as the least carer-friendly service

Of those who said GP practices were the least carer-friendly service overall, 68% said this made caring more difficult and 71% said it affected their health.

Carers also reported a mixed experience of hospital services:
36% of carers rated the hospital as carer-friendly
• Whereas 24% of carers said their hospital was not carer-friendly and 13% of carers rated their hospital as the least carer friendly service

Of those who said hospitals were the least carer-friendly service overall, 73% said this made caring more difficult, 32% said it has a financial impact on them and 74% said it affected their health.

Of carers who have experience of care and support services, half (50%) rated them as carer-friendly with 28% of saying they were not.

23% of all carers rated care and support services as the least carer-friendly services in their communities. Of those who said care services were the least carer-friendly:
62% said this made caring more difficult
49% said it has a financial impact on them
77% said it affected their health

Useful background statistics: the health of carers

• Carers providing round the clock care are more than twice as likely to be in bad health than non-carers (Census, 2011)
• As a result of their caring responsibilities, 84% of carers felt more stressed, 78% felt more anxious, and 55% have experienced depression (State of Caring 2015, Carers UK, 2015)
• 56% of carers looking after someone with dementia had not been given information on managing medication for the person they cared for (A Road Less Rocky, Carers Trust, 2013)

 

Here are some good practice case studies of services who have adjusted their practices to meet the needs of carers:

Macmillan Step Up Service: Royal Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath

The service currently runs Friends and Family Events, which are two-hour sessions where cancer survivors who experience enduring fatigue following cancer or cancer treatment (or as a result of ongoing conditions e.g. some lymphomas) can bring friends and family members along to find out more about cancer-related fatigue and how to support their loved one to manage it.

Three Swans Surgery, Wiltshire

The Surgery encourages carers to fill out a form about their personal and caring situation, which then enables them to receive personalised care and get flexible appointment times. The Surgery also holds a Carers Clinic twice a year, where carers can get a personal health check and referral to a doctor or other local support services if necessary. They are also offered Carers Break Prescriptions, giving them a welcome opportunity for some valuable and much-needed 'me time'.

Lister Hospital, Hertfordshire

Lister Hospital in Hertfordshire is a Carer-Friendly Hospital. The hospital has put a number of measures in place to better support carers of patients at the hospital including negotiating discounts on the shuttle bus for carers, better publicity of discounts for frequent car park users, carers information on the website, information on medication in hospital and arrangements for overnight stays at the hospital.

 

 

 

 

Lottery of support proves damaging for carers

05 June 2015

Huge variation in the support received by those looking after an older, disabled or seriously-ill loved one is having a damaging impact on the health of carers and their ability to look after the person they care for, according to new research launched today for Carers Week 2015.

Carers' Checklist is launched

05 June 2015

The Carers' Checklist is launched today 

What is it?

The Carers Checklist is a simple list looking at the things that carers have told us are important in making their community carer friendly.  This includes key health services like GP practices, hospitals, but also the workplace, schools/colleges, and services on the high street. This is a supportive tool for carers and others to use to determine whether their local services are providing carers with the help they need.
 
The checklist also enables local providers, businesses, employers and other local services to take simple steps to make a difference to carers’ lives. 
 

What can you do with the Checklist?

 
•   You can rate your local services by using the checklist.  Take the checklist along with you - for example to your local hospital or GP, to give you support with explaining what you need.  
 
•   You can take the list to your local group or carers network. It could help start a conversation with your local   services and organisations about how they could better support carers.
 
•   Please share the list with services and other carers!
 

You can download and print out the checklist here: 

checklistthumbnail

Carers Week is almost here!

04 June 2015

So far 1865 organisations, groups and individuals have signed up to take part in Carers Week, including local authorities, carers groups, NHS trusts, charities, GP practices, individuals and more. Thank you!

Thousands of events and activities will be taking place throughout the UK between Monday 8 and Sunday 14 June for Carers Week to recognise, support and celebrate carers. 

Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2017

  • logo01
  • Carers UK new logo
  • image description
  • independent age
  • macmillan
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which Elderly Care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • The Lockwood
    Charitable Foundation
  • Nutricia

 

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