ONS reports unpaid carers provide social care worth £57 billion, Alzheimer’s Society comments
Today Office of National Statistics, ONS Digital has released data revealing the huge bill that unpaid carers save the UK economy.
The ONS found spend on social care in England has decreased in real terms (adjusted for inflation) since 2009 – 2010, when it was at its highest. The total spend on social care came to just under £17 billion last financial year, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The numbers of people with dementia are on the increase due to an ageing population. These people rely on care. With the current social care system in crisis urgent attention is needed to cope with the inevitable massive increase in demand.
Unpaid adult carers in the UK provide care worth an estimated £56.9 billion a year (figures from 2014), meaning it would cost this amount to pay professional carers for the hours of care they provide.
Dominic Carter, Senior Policy Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said: “These figures show the incredible dependency society has on the hundreds of thousands of unpaid carers for people with dementia across the UK. They also demonstrate the inordinate and unfair strain they are put under to prop up the broken social care system. Without devoted relatives and friends, many of the most vulnerable people in society would miss out on vital care, and instead be at the mercy of a system on its knees.
“Years of cuts to social care budgets has led to our dementia care system facing the very real risk of collapse. The promised consultation on social care reform must deliver a long-term solution that creates a fair and transparent division of responsibility between government and the individual, and share the cost of care more equally across society.”