Nurses shouldering informal carer duties need your support, charity tells NHS

One in five health service workers in England faces carer responsibilities at home

One in five health service workers in England faces carer responsibilities at home

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Almost a quarter of a million NHS staff in England are juggling work and caring for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill, a report states.

Analysis by the charity Carers UK estimates one in five health service staff is an unpaid carer, compared with the national workforce average of one in seven.

Women take on most of the family care burden

It said the NHS is at a greater risk of losing staff because of their unpaid caring responsibilities because a high proportion of the NHS workforce is female, noting that women are more likely to give unpaid care than men, and women are more likely to give up work to care.

The charity has called for measures to support those with caring responsibilities in the forthcoming NHS Workforce Plan for England. It also wants to see questions on informal caring to be included in the next NHS England staff survey, as well as clear policies to support carers in the workplace.

‘Use the opportunity of the workforce plan’ 

Carers UK chief executive Helen Walker said: 'With such a high proportion of unpaid carers in its workforce, the NHS should be striving to lead by example and become the most carer-friendly health service in the world.

'The NHS Workforce Plan is a key opportunity to deliver much better support. Carer-friendly policies and practices, including paid care leave, go a long way to supporting employees to juggle work and care without putting their own careers and health at risk.’

The NHS Workforce Plan is expected to be published by NHS England shortly.

Further information

Juggling work and unpaid care: Carers UK report

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