New figures from Carers UK for Carers Week show that an estimated additional 4.5 million have been forced to become unpaid carers due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
It should be noted that these new figures are on top of the already over 9 million unpaid carers currently caring for someone before the pandemic, with the new estimated number of unpaid carers in the UK now predicted to be around 13.6 million.
This research was released alongside calls for the government to raise more awareness of the role unpaid carers have played during the pandemic and to ensure they are given the support they need.
In the open letter to the government, Age UK, the Carers Trust, Carers UK, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB, and Rethink Mental Illness said: “The government should show its appreciation for unpaid carers – without whom the health and social care systems would have collapsed. It must urgently bring forward its plans to rebuild our care and support services, coupled with long-term investment in services and social care reform.”
A government spokesperson said more guidance, support, and funding will be published soon.