Alan Lewis – Digital and Social Media Lead
Alan joined Carers Support in June 2016 having worked as a journalist for 15 years.
By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence, carers in the UK would have saved the public purse another £29,295.
It took you about seven seconds to read it and, according to a Carers UK report published last year, carers save the UK economy around £4,185 a second.
By the way, that figure is now £62,775.
Let me do the maths for you. It works out at £15.1 million per hour, £362 million per day and a staggering £2.5 BILLION a week. Every week.
“The numbers are unbelievable. So unbelievable in fact…they start to lose all meaning.”
If carers stopped caring for a year and passed what they do over to the NHS (which couldn’t happen by the way), it would cost the UK £132 billion. That’s about what we spent on the NHS as a whole in 2014/2015.
The numbers are unbelievable. So unbelievable in fact that when you just stare at them (like I have for the past 2 minutes), they start to lose all meaning. So let me put £132 billion into some kind of context for you.
- At his current wage level (reported to be £330,000 a week), it would take Wayne Rooney 7,692 years to earn that amount of money.
- If you gave every man, woman and child a share of that £132 billion, we’d each receive £2,059.
- Based on an average NHS salary, you could employ 4.46 million new NHS staff. Which, by the way, still wouldn’t be enough to replace the 6.8 million carers in the UK.
Caring isn’t about money. It’s about love. The love for a family member or friend. That figure is immeasurable and can’t be inputted on a balance sheet. But surely carers must be better valued? Without them, the UK would find itself having to find a second NHS to cope.
In my short time with Carers Support I’ve already seen how much it values carers, but is that view as widely held as it should be? Probably not. It’s very easy for other friends, relatives, neighbours, organisations, governments to take their work for granted. Three out of five of us will become a carer at some point in our lifetime. Would you want to be considered as ‘just another statistic’?
If I’ve failed to convince you so far and you need a reason why carers should be better valued, well I can give you about 132 billion of them.
And by the time you’ve finished reading this, those carers have just saved us all £489,645.