Experiences of care
Health and Care Survey, September 2021

Key findings on care experiences

  • One in six adults (18%) have experienced problems with getting the right care for an elderly relative
  • One in six (17%) feel they’ve had to fight to get social care support for a loved one or for themselves
  • One in ten people (10%) aged 45-64 have had to give up work or reduce their working hours to care for a loved one
  • One in two (52%) unpaid carers feel they’ve had to fight to get care or treatment for a loved one or for themselves
  • One in five (22%) people from ethnic minority backgrounds regularly care for another adult, compared to one in eight (13%) people who identify as white.

Problems getting social care support

In the Community Conversations, many people shared their difficulties when they needed to get social care for a loved one. One person told us:

“Just getting a place in a care home is actually not easy these days. When you’re making phone call after phone call, and people say ‘we don’t have beds’ or ‘we can’t give you any more care at home.”
See more experiences

Our survey shows one in six adults (18%) have had a similar experience and struggled to get the right care for an elderly relative. Many also say they’ve struggled with support for a working-age adult.

Use the arrows below to explore the responses to three questions about getting social care support.

Unpaid care experiences

Many people spoke about providing unpaid care for a loved one in the Community Conversations. One frustrated family member said:

“Unless they fight, people don’t get the services they’re entitled to on a statutory basis. The services are there, and the framework is there. But you have to fight to get them.”
See more experiences

Our survey showed one in two (52%) unpaid carers share the experience of having to fight to get care or treatment for their loved one or themselves. One in ten people (9%) have had to give up work or reduce their working hours to care for a loved one. People from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be unpaid carers or give up paid work to provide care.

Use the arrows below to explore the responses to three questions about unpaid carers and their experiences.

About this survey

Engage Britain has commissioned a nationally representative survey of 4,010 UK adults (18+).

The purpose of the survey is to explore how common experiences raised in the Community Conversations are and to explore views on health and care.

The survey was commissioned by Engage Britain and conducted by Yonder. Online fieldwork was undertaken 5-8 July 2021.

See the full results in the polling tables here.