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Carers

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent estimate is of the number of people cared for at home by relatives; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse if those people were being cared for entirely by the NHS and local authorities. (208428)

The 2001 Census was the first time information on the numbers of carers was available on the basis of a detailed count. The 2001 Census indicates that there are some 6 million people providing unpaid care in the United Kingdom. However, this figure does not necessarily reflect the number of individuals being cared for, as there is not a one to one ratio of carers to care-recipients.

The Department has made no estimate of the cost to the public purse if those people being cared for by relatives were cared for by the NHS and local authorities.

The contribution carers make is recognised in law and the policies of local and central Government.