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Unpaid carers save NHS £87bn

20th September 2007

New estimates show that the work of unpaid carers is saving the UK £87 billion per year.

Old Hands

The figure has been calculated for the charity Carers UK by experts at the University of Leeds and is up 52% since 2002.

On an individual basis, the average person caring for a sick or frail relative is now estimated to save the nation more than £15,260 a year. That is based on how much an alternative would cost if a carer was not available and has been worked out at the rate of £14.50 an hour.

The total is more than four times the amount spent on social care services for adults and children by local authorities in the year 2005-2006 and has prompted Carers UK to warn that the economy is now over-reliant on care provided by family and friends. It said health and social care services were failing to keep pace with rising demand.

Carers UK Chief Executive Imelda Redmond said: “It is clear that without carers, our NHS and social care systems would collapse. We need concerted action from government, employers and public bodies to end social exclusion among carers.?

With many carers remaining isolated and unsupported the charity is calling for significant new investment in social care, and a review of carers’ benefits.

A Department of Health spokesman said the government had long acknowledged the crucial role of carers and that recommendations by Carers UK would be considered as part of the revision of the strategy.


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Article Information

Title: Unpaid carers save NHS £87bn
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 4156
Date Added: 20th Sep 2007


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