A recent survey carried out by a carer’s charity has revealed 65% of unpaid carers in Dorset are working more than 50 hours per week.

Last September, Carer Support Dorset carried out an online survey with over 160 unpaid carers sharing their experiences and views.

Over 65% of respondents are dedicating more than 50 hours a week to their caring responsibilities.

Nearly all participants said they feel stressed about their caring role with approximately one in five saying they permanently experience stress.

Other findings from the survey show 71% of carers feel community services are not meeting their needs. Over a third of respondents also admitted to having experienced physical or emotional harm from the person they care for.

Leanne Hubbard, Chief Executive of Carer Support Dorset, said: “We hear the challenges with respite and finding good paid care, which is an issue across the country. Carer Support Dorset will continue making sure carers’ voices are heard, be advocates and push for improvements in these areas.

“We need carers to be able to make this huge positive difference without a detrimental cost to themselves.”

Carer Support Dorset aims to improve life for all unpaid carers by offering a supportive network, giving them a voice and ensuring they are recognised and valued in society.

The charity is commissioned by Dorset Council and Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and runs carer cafes in Bridport and Wareham and support groups in Gillingham and Blandford.

The Dorset Carers Partnership Group (DCPG) is a consultative group of practitioners and organisations that support unpaid carers and work to address challenges in the practice and raise awareness.

Eliza Atyeo, DCPG Chair, said: “The DCPG are looking to initiate a task finish group with the purpose of scoping the current provision of respite for carers in the local area to identify gaps in the system. From there we can look to co-ordinate this information to make the process of finding services easier for carers.”

Further details about the survey findings can be found on the Carer Support Dorset website: carersupportdorset.co.uk.