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Unpaid carer's research wins top award

Researchers from Public Health Wales have been jointly awarded the Health Care Research Wales Impact Award 2022 for their report on the future of unpaid carers in Wales project.

The Future of Unpaid Carers in Wales research project found that unpaid carers have markedly poorer health than the general population in Wales; but that being in paid, secure employment and/or education whilst caring for others is associated with higher wellbeing amongst unpaid carers.  

Funded by Public Health Wales, the research was a collaboration project between Swansea University and Public Health Wales, and engaged with NHS, Carers Wales, Carers Trust Wales and Welsh Government. Judges said the project demonstrated genuine impact and collaboration in an area aligning to important Welsh Government policy. 

Professor Kieran Walshe, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, said: 

“It’s been an amazing year for the research community as so much has been achieved. These awards are a great opportunity to acknowledge the astonishing efforts of the researchers who helped recover important research and tackle real-life challenges as we came out of the worst of the pandemic.” 

Jiao Song, Principle Statistician at Public Health Wales, said: “Our findings provide in depth understanding of health amongst unpaid carers in Wales, particularity how different groups may be disproportionately affected by poor mental wellbeing, and how that differs by level of caring intensity, educational attainment and employment status. These findings can be used to help inform actions across sectors to improve unpaid carers’ wellbeing. This includes the importance of understanding and supporting carers’ health needs, and addressing barriers to entry and retention into education and good, fair employment.” 

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that there were over 700,000 unpaid carers in Wales, an increase from approximately 400,000 in 2019. However, due to the lack of a systematic data collection on unpaid carers, it is difficult to know the true number of unpaid carers in Wales, and to have a full understanding of their health needs.   

The research carried out by Public Health Wales and Swansea University addressed this challenge by bringing together anonymous primary care data and the National Survey for Wales. The team were able to identify over 62,000 unpaid carers in Wales over the period 2011 to 2020, and describe the health of this group  

For the full reports go to:  

Today marks the 2022 Carer’s right’s day – a day that Carers First mark to help carers in the UK to know and understand their rights, providing the opportunity for carers to get the help and support they need and are entitled to. 

For further details on the awards: 

Channel website: http://www.wales.nhs.uk

Original article link: https://phw.nhs.wales/news/unpaid-carers-research-wins-top-award/

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