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6 Million UK Unpaid Carers

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

6,014,226 People In England, Wales & Northern Ireland Provide Unpaid Care Each Week With 36.8% Providing More Than 20 Hours Care Per Week

One in eight workers has caring responsibility and many work part time so there is also a financial impact on them so employers need to sign up to a charter that makes it easier for unpaid carers to combine paid work with their caring roles GMB Congress told

In England and Wales a total of 5,800,246 provide unpaid care each week GMB Congress in Plymouth was told today. That is 10.3% of all residents in England and Wales. Of these 63.2% provide between 1 and 20 hours unpaid care per week while the remaining 36.8% provide above 20 hours or more unpaid care per week.

In Northern Ireland a total of 213,980 or 11.8% of all residents provide unpaid care.

Wales has a total of 370,230 people provide unpaid care each week. This is 12.1% of all residents in Wales. This is the region with the highest percentage in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Next for the highest percentage is Northern Ireland at 11.8%. This is followed by the North West with 781,972 people and 11.1%, the North East with 286,351 and 11.0%, the West Midlands 614,888 and 11.0%, the East Midlands with 490,249 and 10.8%, the South West with 570,298 and 10.8%, Yorkshire & The Humber with 551,341 and 10.4%, the East of England with 597,591 and 10.2%, the South East with 847,353 and 9.8%, and London with 689,973 and 8.4%. The figures for top 20 areas of England & Wales are set out in the table in ‘Notes To Editors 2’ below. The figures for all 200 areas are attached to the foot of the release at www.gmb.org.uk

These figures are in a new report published today, 5th June, at the GMB Congress in Plymouth which started on 2nd June. The figures are drawn from the 2011 Census of Population and are ranked by the percentage of unpaid carers in each area. GMB is the main union in the paid care sector.

GMB Congress comprises 500 lay GMB member delegates is in Plymouth till Thursday 6th June. Delegates are members who have been elected to represent over 620,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland. They are employed in every sector of the economy including London.

Table: Number of unpaid carers by area in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and percentage providing above and below 20 hours unpaid care per week

   

Total number of unpaid carers

Unpaid Carers as % of total residents

Provides between 1 and 20 Hours of Unpaid Care a Week %

Provides 20+ Hours of Unpaid Care a Week %

 

England and Wales

5,800,246

10.3

63.2

36.8

 

Wales

370,230

12.1

57.4

42.6

rank

         

1

Wales

370,230

12.1

57.4

42.6

2

Northern Ireland

213,980

11.8

57.2

42.8

3

North West

781,972

11.1

60.0

40.0

4

North East

286,351

11.0

57.9

42.1

5

West Midlands

614,888

11.0

61.6

38.4

6

East Midlands

490,249

10.8

63.6

36.4

7

South West

570,298

10.8

66.1

33.9

8

Yorkshire & The Humber

551,341

10.4

62.0

38.0

9

East of England

597,591

10.2

66.2

33.8

10

South East

847,353

9.8

68.1

31.9

11

London

689,973

8.4

63.1

36.9

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said, “This huge hidden army of unpaid often voice-less carers saves taxpayers billions every year. In many areas there are far more unpaid carers than actual paid care providers in place.

The hidden army of unpaid carers consists of predominately women.

The impact of caring responsibilities has a huge impact on carer’s health. Carers often experience depression, emotional and physical exhaustion. Sleep disturbance being just one factor which impacts on carers. The number of young carers is also on the increase.    

There just isn't the adequate support in place for carers. This is further compounded with the squeeze on funds. It is not just comprehensive support that these unpaid carers need but also emotional support including respite and short breaks.

Approximately one in eight workers have some sort of caring responsibility. Many carers work part time so there is also a financial impact on them. Employers need to sign up to a charter that makes it easier for unpaid carers to combine paid work with their caring roles.

Employment rights for carers are poor as there is very little recognition or support for such workers within a work life balance context in the workplace. Despite the anti-discrimination legislation and Equality Act 2010 we have some way to go.

We now know that almost two thirds of people with dementia live in their own homes and most need round the clock care and most need help with a range of tasks including bathing and dressing. For the carer who looks after them, who also have dependent children, the impact on the carer is massive.

District nurses estimate that over next few years the number of people needing care will continue to grow. So to call this a crisis is a huge understatement. The lack of funds and government reluctance to grasp the nettle cannot be allowed to continue.

A radical overhaul of the current approach to paid and unpaid care is needed from society as a whole is required. That includes government and employers as well as families. Carers week is next week from 10th to 16th June and that is a good time to focus on this growing problem. Materials for carers week can be downloaded from www.carersweek.org ”

Ends

Contact: Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB National Equality & Inclusion Officer on 07956 237178 or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823, Paul Hayes, GMB Regional Secretary on 020 8202 8272 or Martin Smith GMB National Organiser on 07974 251722.

Notes to Editors:

1              Sources and definitions:

Office for National Statistics; Census of Population 2011, table KS301EW – Health and provision of unpaid care for England and Wales Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency; Census of Population 2011, table KS301NI - Health and provision of unpaid care for Northern Ireland.

The data gives information about the number of providers of unpaid care and the number of hours of care they provide.

A person is a provider of unpaid care if they look after or give help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental ill health or disability, or problems related to old age. This does not include any activities as part of paid employment. No distinction is made about whether any care that a person provides is within their own household or outside of the household.

2              Table of top 20 areas in England & Wales with the highest percentage of residents who provide unpaid care and the percentages providing above and below 20 hours unpaid care per week.

   

Total number of unpaid carers

Unpaid Carers as % of total residents

Provides between 1 and 20 Hours of Unpaid Care a Week %

Provides 20+ Hours of Unpaid Care a Week %

Rank

         

1

Neath Port Talbot

20,365

14.6

51.0

49.0

2

Ards

10,582

13.6

59.7

40.3

3

Castlereagh

9,048

13.5

62.8

37.2

4

North Down

10,362

13.1

65.2

34.8

5

Torfaen

11,929

13.1

56.3

43.7

6

Carmarthenshire

23,989

13.1

55.8

44.2

7

St. Helens

22,591

12.9

55.5

44.5

8

Bridgend

17,919

12.9

53.9

46.1

9

Caerphilly

22,721

12.7

53.9

46.1

10

Swansea

30,349

12.7

57.2

42.8

11

Carrickfergus

4,966

12.7

60.0

40.0

12

Newtownabbey

10,770

12.6

61.0

39.0

13

Rhondda Cynon Taf

29,640

12.6

52.9

47.1

14

Merthyr Tydfil

7,427

12.6

50.9

49.1

15

Sefton

34,547

12.6

59.4

40.6

16

Wirral

40,340

12.6

59.2

40.8

17

Monmouthshire

11,491

12.6

65.3

34.7

18

Blaenau Gwent

8,752

12.5

49.5

50.5

19

Larne

4,010

12.5

59.1

40.9

20

Pembrokeshire

15,195

12.4

59.3

40.7

 

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Additional Resources

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The East of England

download pdf19Kb (pdf) - 05 June 2013

Related GMB Press Release for the East of England

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The East Midlands

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6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In London

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6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The North East

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6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In Northern Ireland

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Related GMB Press Release for Northern Ireland

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The North West

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6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The South East

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Related GMB Press Release for the South East

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The South West

download pdf20Kb (pdf) - 05 June 2013

Related GMB Press Release For The South West

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In Wales

download pdf20Kb (pdf) - 05 June 2013

Related GMB Press Release for Wales

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In The West Midlands

download pdf20Kb (pdf) - 05 June 2013

Related GMB Press Release for the West Midlands

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers In Yorkshire & The Humber

download pdf20Kb (pdf) - 05 June 2013

Related GMB Press Release for Yorkshire & The Humber

6 Million UK Unpaid Carers - Full Table Of Figures

download pdf16Kb (pdf) - 05 June 2013

Full Table of Figures for 6 Million UK Unpaid Carers