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Survey shows one in seven adult carers feel they neglect their own needs

16 September 2015: Almost one in seven adult carers who responded to a major national survey feel they neglect their own needs due to their caring duties, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Information is available at Local Authority level

Fifteen per cent of adult carers known to councils gave this response when asked if they get enough sleep or eat well2, up from 14 per cent3 in 2012-13 when the survey last took place4.

Almost 57,400 carers5 out of a sample of 131,100 unpaid carers aged 18 and over in England who care for an adult responded. The survey covers a range of topics including time spent caring, personal safety, social contact and the needs of the individual cared for. The survey took place in Autumn 20146.

The report, Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England (SACE) showed:

  • The majority, or 83 per cent of carers felt that they were supported or encouraged in their caring role, to a degree. This included 40 per cent who said, "I feel I have encouragement and support" (compared with 43 per cent in 2012-13), and 43 per cent who said "I feel I have some encouragement and support but not enough" (compared to 40 per cent in 2012-13)
  • At the other end of the spectrum, 17 per cent said "I feel I have no encouragement and support", compared with 16 per cent in 2012-13
  • When asked to consider how carers spend their time, 20 per cent reported that they were able to "spend my time as I want, doing things I value or enjoy", down from 22 per cent in 2012-13
  • In addition, 15 per cent reported that "I don't do anything I value or enjoy with my time", up from 14 per cent in 2012-13. The remaining 65 per cent reported that "I do some of the things I value or enjoy with my time but not enough", which is unchanged from 2012-13

Responsible statistician for the report, Katharine Robbins said: "This survey helps lift the lid on the lives of the many thousands of people who care for another adult as part of their everyday life. It shows a wide range of experiences of carers known to local authorities."

Today's report can be viewed at:

The provisional annual report, Personal Social Services: Expenditure and Unit Costs, England7, is also released by the HSCIC today. This report, which is the first to be based on a new data return8, provides information about the money spent on adult social care by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) in England.

Today's report can be found at:


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. In response to the question about how much time carers have to look after themselves, in terms of getting enough sleep or eating well, 15% of respondents said they feel they are neglecting themselves (up from 14% in 2012-13); 28% reported that sometimes they can't look after themselves well enough (up from 26% in 2012-13) and 58 % reported that they do have enough time to look after themselves (down from 60% in 2012-13).
  3. Each percentage reported in the survey is rounded to the nearest whole number.
  4. The first national Personal Social Survey of Adult Carers in England took place in 2012-13. Results are published at: This survey takes place every two years.
  5. Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) reported that 286,910 carers were assessed or reviewed in the 12 months prior to the 2014-15 survey taking place. 57,380 carers responded to the 2014-15 survey out of a sample of 131,105 carers who received the survey for their local authority. This means that in effect, 57,380 carers who took part in the survey represent the views of the 286,910 carers who were assessed or reviewed prior to the survey.
  6. The survey fieldwork was carried out during the period October to November 2014 and data was submitted to the HSCIC by the end of April 2015.
  7. This report brings a new way of reporting spend for all 152 Councils. The Personal Social Services: Expenditure and Unit Costs (PSS-EX1) report in 2013-14 provided information about the money spent on adult social care services by Councils who have adult social services responsibilities. The impact of the change in data source and the introduction of the new Equalities and Classification framework has meant some councils have experienced difficulties in completing their return for the initial pre validation deadline and as a result some of these data presented are not representative of all 152 councils.
  8. The new Adult Social Care Finance Return replaces PSS-EX1. This return arose as part of the Zero Based Review of adult social care data returns.
  9. For media enquiries please call 0300 303 3888.
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