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Survey of Carers in Households - England, 2009-10

What is the survey?

On 10 June 2008, the then Government launched a new Carers Strategy entitled "Carers at the heart of 21st century families and communities: a caring system on your side, a life of your own". The strategy set out a number of aims to be achieved by 2018.

The strategy included a commitment to carry out a survey of carers which addressed the commitments given by the then government and provided a way in which progress towards turning the Carers' Strategy from vision to reality (both short and long term goals) can be measured.

NHS Digital took responsibility for this new survey of carers, funded by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions.

In 2009, GfK NOP Social Research was commissioned to conduct a face-to-face survey of carers in England.

Why did we do this survey?

The survey was required to provide information about:

  • The prevalence of caring amongst different groups in England
  • Intensity of care provision;
  • Carers' use of services;
  • The impact of caring upon carers' health, well-being and quality of life.

The results of the survey helped make inform decisions about projects which the Department of Health hope to take forward to deliver new priorities as part of "Recognised, valued and supported: Next steps for the Carers Strategy".

Who did the survey?

The survey was carried out by Gfk NOP on behalf of NHS Digital.

How did you choose who took part?

Addresses were selected at random to make sure we got a truly representative picture of everyone living in England. An interviewer made contact with each selected household and where contact was made, interviewers used a short paper questionnaire which was used to establish whether anyone in the household looked after or provided special help for anyone (either living with them or living elsewhere) and determine whether they were eligible to take part in the full survey. Those who were eligible and willing to participate in the research were then asked to complete questionnaire.

What did taking part in the survey involve?

Once an eligible respondent agreed to participate in the survey they completed a half-hour interview. The interview was really informal - there was nothing to prepare and any questions a respondent did not wish to answer were skipped.

What data items were collected?

The survey collected data on prevalence of caring in England, the demographic profile of carers, the impact of caring duties upon the carer, details of the services carers receive and a profile of the cared for people.

What happened to the answers?

The answers from all the questionnaire were put together with the answers collected from thousands of other people across England.

The answers are completely confidential and we make sure that no-one can be identified from the results we publish.

The results collected are used for research purposes only. Respondents never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. We never pass on respondents details to other organisations for commercial purposes.

Latest findings and report

A full anonymised data set is available in the UK Data Services Catalogue.

The Survey of Carers in Households - England, 2009-10 report and key findings are available in the NHS Digital publication catalogue.

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