A Guardian article observes that one in three adults may become a carer in the next 10 years, with over 20% caring for more than 50 hours a week, and most doing so without outside assistance. Obviously, the level of care depends greatly upon the condition of the person being cared for, but the impact on the NHS, social services generally as well as the economy may be profound.
‘At the first workshop in Hertfordshire, where my GP colleague knew several of the participating doctors, our presentation was welcomed. A fortnight later in Lancashire, the reception was quite different, and doctors were adamant that the last thing they needed was the additional burden of carers. Surely, they argued, carers were the responsibility of council social care services, not the health service.’ Turf battles aside, there will be family caregivers for physical and mental illness, it is merely a question of how they are supported or not.