Plight of Lancashire's under pressure care workers

Of the 500 respondents in Lancashire, 83 per cent of adult carers reported their responsibilities leave them feeling tired
Of the 500 respondents in Lancashire, 83 per cent of adult carers reported their responsibilities leave them feeling tired
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Most carers looking after vulnerable adults in Lancashire are tired, losing sleep and stressed.

Carers Trust says the latest NHS survey results show carers “in crisis”, with a significant increase in the number of those feeling depressed and physical strain.

Every two years, the health service asks thousands of adults in England about their unpaid roles supporting people over the age of 18 who are ill, disabled or elderly.

The latest survey, which covers 2018-19, attracted 50,800 responses.

Of the 500 respondents in Lancashire, 83 per cent reported their responsibilities leave them feeling tired – the most common health complaint.

This was up from 75 per cent in 2016-17, which the previous survey covered.

Nearly seven in 10 adults (69 per cent) said caring also gave them disturbed sleep, while 62 per cent feel stressed.

Only 6.4 per cent of respondents said caring has no impact on their health.

Carers Trust, a charity which supports unpaid carers, urged the Government to help “cash-strapped” councils fund social care.

Chief executive Giles Meyer said: “Once again, we’re hearing from unpaid carers that they are in crisis – they’re not sleeping, they’re worrying about how they’ll make ends meet and some are having to care 100 hours a week or more for a relative.

“And these NHS Digital survey findings echo what we are hearing time and time again from carers supported by Carers Trust local services across England.

“The reasons for this are well documented. Even when carers are able to get an assessment of their needs, far too few of them actually receive the services that will support them in return for all they do.

“Carers are also having to do more for the person they care for because there aren’t enough social care services for disabled people or older people.”

In Lancashire, pressures surrounding caring caused “a lot” of financial difficulties for 11% of those surveyed.

Nationally, the share of adult carers with serious money issues has risen significantly since 2016-17, from 9.6 per cent to 10.6 per cent.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Carers make an invaluable contribution to society by selflessly caring for friends and family, and this must not come at the expense of their own wellbeing.

“Our cross-government Carers Action Plan sets out commitments to improve their lives, and through the Long Term Plan the NHS is working to better identify and support carers in England.

“Our forthcoming green paper will also look at long-term sustainable solutions for the social care system.”