People who are Carers - Adults
This page is part of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)
Index of information on this page:
A carer is someone who provides
un-paid help to a person who depends upon them
because of frailty, mental or physical health problems, illness or
drug/alcohol misuse. They may not live in the same house and
do not have to be related to the person who they care for.The
amount and type of care that carers provide varies
Most people will have a role as a carer at
some point in their lives and it is estimated that as many as
one in ten people at any one time is a carer. People simply
may not realise that the help they are offering, especially during
periods of crisis, is in the role of carer. They may see
their role as part of other identities such as a parent, partner or
The geographical isolation of many people in
Northumberland increases this risk and rural carers are not only
less likely to recognise themselves as carers and exercise their
rights, but they may also experience greater difficulty in getting
the help they need.
Caring is still predominantly a role carried
out by women. The 2001 census showed that about 42% of carers
are male and 58% of carers are female; fewer male carers
may seek support.
A number of different groups of carers
require support and there is no single group or stereotypical
- People providing support to someone with an
enduring mental health problem often fail to recognise their
eligibility for support as the care does
not always involve practical help.
- Young carers (under 18) are often not
recognised by professionals as having a substantial caring role and
can be extremely isolated.
- Black and ethnic minority carers tend to be
hidden largely due to assumptions made with regard to the closeness
of facilities and the role of woman.
Combinations of disadvantage including caring
responsibilities often lead to a cycle of worklessness and ill
health, e.g. a person who becomes a carer whilst still a child is
more likely than average to be economically inactive and still a
carer as a young adult.
Many carers juggle work with caring and view
their work as a vital part of their lives. People who give up
work to care face an immediate reduction in income and the loss of
companionship at work may lead to social exclusion.
Carers’ health is an issue as carers are more
likely than others to suffer from health problems. Caring can
be demanding physically, emotionally and mentally. Helping to
keep carers healthy is crucial if they are to continue in this
What we know:
The UK has approximately 6.4 million
carers. By 2037 the carer population in the UK will
reach 9 million. The care they provide is worth an estimated
£119bn per year.
The number of carers over the age of 65 is
increasing more rapidly (by 15% from 2001- 2011) than the general
carer population (9% increase from 2001-2011). (Carers
UK and the University of Leeds 2011).
Every year over 2.3 million adults become
carers and over 2.3 million adults stop being carers; 3 in 5 people
will be carers at some point in their lives. (Carers
About 3.4 million (58%) of carers are women;
one in five carers are women aged 54 to 60 – the peak time for
caring. Of the estimated 662,000 carers who combine part-time work
with caring, 89% are female and
women are more likely to give up work in order
to care. (Equality
and Human Rights Commission 2010).
A demographic group sometimes referred to
as the 'sandwich generation' typically care for older or
disabled parents as well as their own young children. The peak age
for such dual-caring is 40-44 for women, and 45-49 for men. Women
are more likely to be dual-carers than men. (Agree et al
The 2001 Census showed that there
were half a million Black, Asian and Minority
Ethnic carers in England.
Caring varies between ethnic groups e.g.
Bangledeshi and Pakistani men and women are three times more likely
to provide care compared with their white British counterparts.
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic carers are more likely
to be providing 20-49 hours of care a week, are less
likely to be in employment, find it more difficult to
access support, are less likely to be consulted about
hospital discharge or receive additional support from their GP
around caring, are more likely to miss out on financial and
practical support. (Carers
Across all carers:
- 82% provide practical help
e.g. preparing meals, doing housework or shopping.
- 38% provide personal care e.g. help with
bathing, feeding and going to the toilet.
- 38% provide physical help e.g. getting
in and out of bed or up and down stairs.
- 35% administer medication.
- 49% help with financial matters and other
- Carers providing 20 hours or more care a week
are more likely to provide all manner of care tasks.
According to an NHS Information Centre
- most carers (40%) care for their parents or
- 26% care for their spouse or partner
- 8% care for disabled children
- 5% look after adult children
- 4% care for their grandparents and 7% care
for another relative
- Whilst the majority care for relatives, one
in ten carers (9%) care for a friend or neighbour
- 58% of carers look after someone with a
- 13% care for someone with a mental health
- 20% care for someone with a sensory
- 10% care for someone with dementia.
- 83% care for just one person
- 14% care for two people
- 3% are caring or at least three people
- 80% of the people who cared for more than one
person were between the ages of 40-64, and at least half were
caring for a parent or parent-in-law, or a son or daughter. (Carers
UK 2011 survey)
Further information can be found in this
Policy Briefing from Carers UK:
Facts about Carers 2012.
Carers UK has produced extensive research on issues affecting
carers. Research reports can be accessed via http://www.carersuk.org/professionals/resources
Analysis from the latest (2011) census shows that
the number of people in Northumberland providing unpaid care
has increased in the last ten years from 33,609 to 35,697. The
percentage of the population who are unpaid carers has slightly
increased from 10.9% to 11.3%. The percentage of the population who
are providing over 20 hours unpaid care has increased slightly from
3.6% to 4.2%
The recorded number of people providing unpaid care under 20
hours per week has fallen over the last ten years (a
decrease of 356 carers). The recorded number of
people providing over 20 hours care continues to rise (an increase
of almost 2.5 thousand in the last ten years). Over 20
hours is the point at which caring starts to significantly
impact on the health and wellbeing of the carer, and their ability
to hold down paid employment alongside their caring
- Over 13,000 people provide over 20
hrs of care. This is an increase of 22% in ten
- Nearly 9,000 people provide over 50 hrs of care. This is an
increase of 17% in ten years.
The 2001 Census found 175,000 young carers in
the UK. Some 13,000 are providing more than 50 hours of help a
week. Recent estimates are nearer to 700,000 young carers. The vast
majority (85%) of all children providing care are caring for one to
19 hours per week. This is a wide range which means caring will
affect these young people in different ways.
The 2001 Census identified 806 young carers in
Northumberland aged 5-18 who provided care, some up to 50 hours or
more per week.
The National Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Children, concludes that 4% of children will be young
carers at some point in their childhood. 57% of known young
carers are girls and 43% are boys.
This amounts to at least 2,000 children and
young people of school age in Northumberland, but this is still
considered a conservative estimate. This figure is more than
doubled taking into account the transition into adulthood and young
adults up to 25 who take on the caring role instead of higher
More detailed figures showing the profile of
carers in Northumberland by location and age will
be available soon.
What people have told us:
People receiving social care
services and carers in Northumberland were surveyed
as part of the Adult Social Care User Survey in England
2010-11. Overall views were very positive: overall
satisfaction with the care and support people were receiving was
93% - either extremely (31%) satisfied, very satisfied (32%) or
quite (30%) satisfied.
2009/10 Joint Health and Social Care Survey
showed that carers’ priorities have remained broadly the same over
- better information
- breaks from caring
- opportunities for employment.
Other issues important to carers relate to:
- The lack of support from the out of ours
emergency duty team on weekends (i.e. nobody answering the service
on certain occasions)
- How personal budgets are presented and
offered to service users and their carers
- The lack of a named care manager for many
service users and their carers
Policy and research:
The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework 2013/4 (DH, 2012)
The needs of carers are included in all
domains of the Outcomes Framework, with specific reference to:
- Carers being able to balance their
caring roles and maintain their desired quality of life.
- Earlier diagnosis, intervention and
reablement so that people and their carers are less dependent
on intensive services
- Carer satisfaction with their experience of
care and support services
- Carers feeling that they are respected as
equal partners throughout the care process
No Health Without Mental Health: a cross government mental health
outcomes strategy for people of all ages (HM Government
2011) sets out six shared objectives to improve the mental health
and well-being of the nation, including carers
2010 consolidates existing anti-discrimination
legislation, and for the first time extends protection against
discrimination to carers. It means that it is now against the law
to discriminate against, harass or victimise someone who is
associated with a disabled person, in effect giving carers new
rights in the workplace and in the provision of goods and
Click here to find out what we are doing to
promote equality in Northumberland and how we are meeting our new
duties under the Equality Act 2010.
Recognised, valued and supported (DoH, 2010) identifies how the
coalition government will take the carers strategy forward,
outlining actions over the next four years to ensure the best
possible outcomes for carers and those they support ,with an
identification and recognition
realising and releasing potential
life outside caring
supporting carers to stay healthy.
Constitution 2009 builds on the NHS commitments to carers in
the National Carers’ strategy
Carers at the heart of 21st century families and communities
2008 outlined the previous Government's vision for carers in the
next 10 years.
Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: A New Direction for Community
Services, White Paper 2006 announced a ‘New Deal’ for carers
including setting up a national helpline, training for carers,
funding for emergency planning and the revision of the National
The Work and Families Act 2006 extended the right to request
flexible working to employees who care for adults.
Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 gives local authorities
the duty to inform carers of their right to an assessment; give
consideration to the wishes of a carer to work, to undertake
education or training, or to engage in leisure activities; and the
power to ask assistance from other authorities in planning the
provision of services to carers.
Employment Act 2002 gives working parents of disabled children
under 18 the right to request flexible working.
Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000
ives carers over the age of 16, the right to
an assessment, irrespective of whether the person they support has
been assessed or is receiving services. It also gives local
authorities the power to provide services direct to the carer to
meet their assessed needs and enables carers to apply for direct
payments to meet their own needs.
Putting people first: a shared vision and commitment to the
transformation of adult social care (DH, 1999)
This strategy document, published in 1999,
acknowledged the value of carers in the community by offering
information, support and care.
Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 introduced the right
of a separate assessment, if a person was being assessed under the
1990 Community Care Act, creating the building block for the
following Carers’ Acts.
and Community Care Act 1990 requires that local authorities
involve families and carers when making plans to assist adults who
Other Health and Social Care policy and
Draft Care and Support Bill (HMG, 2012)
Social Care Act 2012
Caring for our future: reforming care and support (HMG,
A vision for Adult Social Care: Capable communities and Active
Citizens (DoH, 2010)
Commissioning for personalisation: a framework for local authority
commissioners (DoH, 2010)
Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS (HMG , 2010)
Think Local, Act Personal (DH and others, 2010)
Guidance on working with carers
guidance for doctors and medical students working with
an action guide for general practitioners
and confidentiality in mental health
Triangle of Care – Carers Included: a guide to best practice in
acute mental health care
guidance on social care services for carers
Examples of good practice
Out of Hospital project looked at how supporting carers
during hospital discharge can save the NHS time and money by
avoiding unnecessary readmissions and addressing carers’ health
Care Institute for Excellence Good Practice Framework has a
database of good social care practice examples.
Our plans for the future:
The Carers Strategy 2008-2013 (Northumberland Care Trust, 2009)
sets out a multi-agency approach to carer support and planning
includes a detailed Action Plan under six priorities:
- Information and recognition
- Time Off
- Health and well-being
- Financial security
- Quality Services
- A voice
NHS North of Tyne Integrated Strategic & Operational Plan
2012-13 to 2014-15 (ISOP) combines the commissioning
plans of the four Clinical Commissioning Groups in North of Tyne
(including Northumberland), who will be taking over the
commissioning responsibility from NHS North of Tyne by April 2013.
Within the overall objectives of prevention and
wellbeing, the support needs of carers are highlighted.
Flourishing People, Connected Communities: promoting emotional
resilience, mental health and wellbeing: the Northumberland Mental
Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention Strategy (Northumberland
Strategic Partnership, 2010-15); this includes the needs of
A preventative approach to Adult Social Care in Northumberland
(Northumberland NHS Care Trust and Northumberland County Council,
Describes how good information and advice, practical support,
appropriate housing options, reablement and joint working between
health and social care will assist people and their carers in
living fulfilled and independent lives and reduce the number of
people requiring ongoing support from social care.
All the Joint
Social Care and Health Commissioning Plans 2012-2015
(Northumberland Care Trust, Northumberland County Council and
Northumberland Commissioning Group, 2012) include the following
priority actions for carers:
- Recognising the role of family/friend carers
- Involving carers in planning and
delivering of health, social care and housing services
- Implementing the Carers Strategy and Action
Plan covering access to carers breaks; access to information;
support for return to work’ access to carers advice and skills
training; and identification and support for young carers.
for the Future:
Sustainable Community Strategy for
Northumberland (NSP May 2011). The objectives and issues include
linking vulnerable people, their families and carers to supportive
community networks and activities.
More information about carers can be found on the Council's
Carers webpage here.
Contact Adult Social Care
Telephone: 01670 536 400
Email address: Socialcare@northumbria.nhs.uk