State of Caring Carers UK State of Caring 2017 Report - Page 5

STATE OF CARING REPORT 2017 The value of unpaid care carers give in the UK The value of health spending in the UK Three quarters 73 % £132 bn £134 bn Lack of social care funding is reflected in the failure of local authorities to consistently assess carers and put in place support. In England and Wales new legal duties to support carers have still yet to become a practical reality for carers. Whilst in Northern Ireland there is currently a power but no legal duty on Health and Social Care Trusts to provide services outlined in Assessments. of carers responding to this year’s survey feel that their contribution is not understood or valued by the Government. The importance of flexible working to retain older workers and the need for support for people to enter or return to the workforce after time spent away has been consistently identified in Government strategies. Yet, the difficulty of remaining in work alongside providing care comes across strongly again in the 2017 survey. It’s clear that the way we value and support the contribution of carers is at the heart of addressing some of the current major challenges our society is facing. It is also of even more fundamental importance; caring and being cared for is part of being human and something which almost everyone will experience at some point in their lives. An action plan for supporting people well when they take on a caring role must be at the heart of the UK Government’s agenda and the priorities of national, regional and local government across the UK. We are a caring society, and we should ensure that there is care for the carers. The absence of system incentives in the NHS and the repeal of the Carers Measure in Wales mean that the mechanisms to support carers consistently through primary care are not in place. Evidence from carers on the financial impact of caring shows that far from having their contribution appropriately recognised by the social care and social security system, people providing unpaid care are struggling to make ends meet and, unable to protect their future financial security, are being made vulnerable to poverty and financial hardship both in the short and long-term. 05