Each year Carers UK run the State of Caring Survey to help show the reality of what it means to care for a family member or friend.

They are asking all carers to take this confidential survey which will in turn positively influence the future support available to carers across the UK.

Here is what they say:

Our campaign priorities and some of the issues we’d like to hear most about are:

  • Your mental and physical health
  • Access to breaks
  • Getting practical support
  • The quality of health and care services
  • Your experience at the point of discharge from hospital

If you have any family or friends who are caring and would like to do the survey, please forward on the link – the more people that do the survey, the more we can use your evidence to press for change.

The survey paints a comprehensive picture of caring in 2017 and though it takes around 25 minutes to fill in, the time you take gives us the evidence we need to campaign for change. Last year more than 6,000 people responded, making it the largest State of Caring Survey to date. We used the responses to show the governments across the UK how their policies really affect carers’ lives and to raise awareness of carers with the public.

Last year we used your evidence to:

  • Put together a comprehensive submission to the Government’s Carers Strategy
  • Demonstrate to Government that the Care Act in England is not making the difference to carers lives that it promised and highlight the impact on carers of cuts to social care and community health support arguing for more funding for social care
  • Raise awareness of the need to reach carers’ earlier with financial and practical support and the impact of missing out
  • To highlight the difficulty carers are facing accessing health and care services in the community forcing them to use A&E departments
  • Argue for the needs of carers to be central in housing policy and tell Government carers’ key concerns about housing
  • Campaign against changes that would have given local authorities in England responsibility for Attendance Allowance
  • Call for protections for carers in any future changes to the State Pension Age and for carers incomes in later life to be protected
  • Press for greater recognition of the support carers need to juggle work and care.

As result:

  • Extra funding for social care was included in the Budget though longer-term funding is still needed
  • We successfully campaigned to stop Attendance Allowance – the benefit for older disabled people – from changing from a national entitlement to a locally controlled benefit in England
  • A commitment was made to include carers as a specific group that should be given longer tenancies in social housing
  • The need for employers to have policies in place to support those caring is prominent in the Government’s Fuller Working Lives Strategy on supporting people to return to or remain in work later in their lives
  • The Independent State Pension Age Reviewer’s has highlighted carers as a key group that needs special protection in any future pension changes.

There’s so much more we need to change and we need your voice and experience to do it.

If you know carers who would struggle to fill out the survey online and would like to print out a paper copy, you can download one here and post it back to: Policy at Carers UK, 20 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4LX.

So as you can see, 20 minutes of your time can really make a difference. Please take the survey here.