State of Caring 2022 report

Hello everyone,

Today we’re releasing our State of Caring 2022 report: the largest and most comprehensive survey of unpaid carers. This year, a record number of carers took part, with over 12,400 current carers helping us paint a picture of caring in 2022. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who promoted the survey to their networks and helped us achieve this fantastic response.

It is clear from carers’ responses that the cost of living crisis has created unprecedented pressure for carers, which has not only affected their finances but their health and wellbeing. As well as finances, our State of Caring 2022 survey covered many other aspects of caring, from the impact of caring on health, to experiences of using support services, and the challenges of juggling work and care. The huge pressures placed across the NHS, together with the record levels of demand for social care services, means that many carers may not be getting the support they need.

The report found that:

• Many carers are facing serious difficulties in getting NHS treatment – of those waiting for specialist treatment or assessment, a third have been waiting for over a year.
• Two thirds of those waiting for treatment said that waiting is having a negative impact on their physical or mental health.
• 41% of carers haven’t taken a break from their caring role in the last year.
• Half of all carers took over a year to recognise their caring role, with over a third taking over three years to recognise themselves as a carer.
• 75% of carers worry about continuing to juggle work and care going forward.
• With many services being reduced or cut completely, carers are extremely worried about the future: 61% said they were uncertain about what practical support they might be able to access in the next 12 months.
• There are opportunities to support carers though digital means and using data creatively, but approaches need to be tailored and digital exclusion combatted.

Full report here:,839X0,9AZULP,X4B1F,1

While Governments across the UK have taken a range of actions to provide carers with help and support, much more must be done. We have set out several recommendations on how carers should be supported, from a funded National Carers Strategy for England to review and reform of carers’ benefits and investment in social care to support carers with adequate breaks. We have also been campaigning for a landmark new right for employed carers to take up to one week of unpaid Carer’s Leave, and this Bill has now passed its Second Reading, securing vital Government support.

As ever, we are so grateful not only to the many carers who took part in our survey, but all the individuals and organisations who helped share the survey and encourage others to take part. It is through your support that we are able to get a detailed understanding of carers’ experiences, allowing us to campaign for the changes that are needed.

I haven’t read the entire document yet, but I’d like to focus on the section about doctors.
The Royal College of Surgeons used to have a downloadable policy about how to respect carers and support them in their caring role, which was VERY good. (Not often I say that!) I shared it on the forum a long time ago, it was written about 2016 if I remember rightly. When I had problems with my own practice, I sent the Practice Manager a copy, which he thanked me for, and told me he was completely unaware of it’s existence.

It was regarded as a sort of “training tool” and the replacement is now only available to doctors, online. The Carers Trust was involved in the updating, but I can’t find anything about it via that route.

This is a shame.
I’m sure many GP’s are doing their best in difficult circumstances, and time management probably means a lot may be unaware of current policies.

What could help us most, today?

I would like Carers UK to liase with the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) and have a downloadable copy of it on the Carers UK website.

Special arrangements have been agreed about carers making appointments at times other than 8.30.
(When I mentioned this to the receptionist at my practice about me being a carer, I was told they “treated all patients the same!!”)

BB - after a discussion about this recently, I dived through some of my old work files and found a copy!

Hi Charles, is it the old one, or a newer one?

From my own experiences with my surgery, and M’s, there is an urgent need for this to go up the priority list for doctors.
In fact when M was ill at Christmas with an infection I knew needed urgent treatment, his surgery firstly didn’t want to talk to me as they had the details of the provider, not me down for M.
(I’ve seen the doctor and ensured that M had his annual health check on many occasions!)
Then they offered me an appointment in 10 days time, despite my protests that it needed more urgent treatment. As soon as he went back to his flat, the provider contacted the surgery at my request and had a same day appointment!!!

At the moment, there’s a disagreement over who should have access to the online ordering service. The provider want it to be me, as I’m the DWP Appointee (utterly irrelevant) when I seldom visit M’s flat for more than a few minutes! Instead, M and a support worker walk to the surgery a mile away to submit a written request, then go back to get the prescription, take it to the pharmacy, and then go back to the pharmacy at a later date!! At least he gets some exercise when the do this. If they can’t be bothered they just buy over the counter medicine that isn’t the same as what has been prescribed, totally out of order.

It’s one I had from 2018 (electronic version): pretty sure it’s no different from the 2016 version though.

If CUK could load it onto their board, everyone having problems with their GP could send a copy of it.
Minimal cost!