Most carers looking after vulnerable adults in Lambeth are tired, losing sleep and stressed, figures reveal.
Carers Trust says the latest NHS survey results show carers “in crisis”, with a significant increase in the number of those feeling depressed and physical strain.
Every two years, the health service asks thousands of adults in England about their unpaid roles supporting people over the age of 18 who are ill, disabled or elderly.
The latest survey, which covers 2018-19, attracted 50,800 responses.
Of the 300 respondents in Lambeth, 77% reported their responsibilities leave them feeling tired – the most common health complaint.
This was up from 69% in 2016-17, which the previous survey covered.
Three in five adults (60%) said caring also gave them disturbed sleep, while 55% feel stressed.
Only 12% of respondents said caring has no impact on their health.
Carers Trust, a charity which supports unpaid carers, urged the Government to help “cash-strapped” councils fund social care.
Chief executive Giles Meyer said: “Once again, we’re hearing from unpaid carers that they are in crisis – they’re not sleeping, they’re worrying about how they’ll make ends meet and some are having to care 100 hours a week or more for a relative.
“And these NHS Digital survey findings echo what we are hearing time and time again from carers supported by Carers Trust local services across England.
“The reasons for this are well documented. Even when carers are able to get an assessment of their needs, far too few of them actually receive the services that will support them in return for all they do.
“Carers are also having to do more for the person they care for because there aren’t enough social care services for disabled people or older people.”
In Lambeth, pressures surrounding caring caused “a lot” of financial difficulties for 17% of those surveyed.
Nationally, the share of adult carers with serious money issues has risen significantly since 2016-17, from 9.6% to 10.6%.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Carers make an invaluable contribution to society by selflessly caring for friends and family, and this must not come at the expense of their own wellbeing.
“Our cross-government Carers Action Plan sets out commitments to improve their lives, and through the Long Term Plan the NHS is working to better identify and support carers in England.
“Our forthcoming green paper will also look at long-term sustainable solutions for the social care system.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.