Unpaid carers increasingly in crisis as long waits for health and social care services continue

Ben Budd
October 20, 2023
October 20, 2023

It’s not just patients and people living with major conditions such as dementia who are struggling to get the care they need, when they need it, but those caring for them are also not receiving the support they desperately need. 

Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s annual assessment of health and social care in England, Frances Lawrence, CEO Dementia Carers Count said: 

“It is hugely concerning to see the continued trend of health and social care services coming under extreme pressure and struggling to cope with growing demand for care and support. Needs are not being met due to insufficient resources and staffing. Unpaid family carers seem to be the glue holding a fractured system together. Not by choice, but by necessity. Nine in ten family dementia carers are telling us that they are reaching crisis points and feel like they can no longer cope. There is an indisputable moral case for providing unpaid carers with prompt and flexible support. But there are practical considerations too. If the health of family carers deteriorates, then they too will become numbers on waiting lists and pressures on under-resourced services. With 700,000 families caring for someone with dementia, the demands on our health and social care services could be on the verge of getting a lot worse.”

“The challenges identified by the CQC must lead to productive cross-party discussions about sustainable options to fund care and support. Alzheimer’s Research UK estimates that one in two of us will be affected by dementia in our lifetime. Either by caring for someone with the condition, developing it ourselves, or both. Doing nothing is not an option and political point scoring as we have seen in the past should not be one either. Collaboration is needed to agree a long-term approach to providing care and support which meets the needs of individuals living with major conditions, including dementia, and which provides appropriate tailored support to those who care for them.”

Contact: For more information or an interview with a spokesperson please contact Iona-Jane Harris on 07807 231432 or email iona-jane.harris@dementiacarers.org.uk 


Dementia Carers Count (DCC) supports the emotional and practical needs of carers and is committed to improving their experiences of caring. Visit: www.dementiacarers.org.uk. The DCC Carer Support Line is available from Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm on 0800 652 1102


The State of Care is the Care Quality Commission’s annual assessment of health and social care in England. It looks at trends, shares examples of good care and highlights where improvements are needed: https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care

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