In 2011, there were 22,220 people providing unpaid care in Gateshead, 11.1% of the population; this is higher than the England average of 10.3%. The number of unpaid carers in Gateshead increased by around 1,000 between 2001 and 2011. Almost 22% (4,866) of unpaid carers are 65 years of age or older and almost 8% (1,680) are aged 24 or under (477 aged 0-15 / 1,203 aged 16-24).
The time that carers' spend providing care is considerable; in 2011, 3.1% of the total population were providing 50 or more hours care per week. This equates to around 28% of carers. The wards with the highest proportion of carers providing 50 or more hours care per week are Lamesley, High Fell, and Felling - all of which are significantly higher than the Gateshead average [Map - Ward carers providing 50+ hours care per week].
In the 2014/15 Adult Carers Survey, nearly a third (30.3%) of respondents reported spending 100 hours or more per week as a carer.
Almost one third (30%) of carers responding to a survey in 2014 had responsibility for other dependants in addition to the person or people they care for. This is an increase from 20% in 2011.
The percentage of adult carers who have as much social contact as they would like is 46.4% which is significantly better than the England average of 35.5% and more in line with the North East average of 44.8% [Chart - Carers social contact]. It is, however, down on the previous surveys in 2014/15 and 2012/13 where 49.7% and 57.0% of carers, respectively, said they had as much social contact as they would like.
Half of respondents said that their caring role had caused them financial difficulties in the past 12 months. There has been a considerable increase, from 17% in 2011 to 54% in 2014, in the number of respondents stating that they had had to use their own money to pay for equipment and services for the cared for.
Self-reported health of carers appears to have worsened between 2011 and 2014; 74% of respondents reported that their health was worse as a result of their caring role.
Whilst the majority of carers responding to one survey reported that they were aware of where to go to access support to help them in their caring role, 42% were not. In the 2014/15 Adult Carers Survey, 78.2% of carers reported that they found it very or fairly easy to find information and advice about support, services or benefits. This is better than the England average of 66.0% and better than the North East average of 72.5%. It compares with the previous 2012/13 figure of 79.3%.
Although more than 80% of carers reported that they were quite, very or extremely satisfied with the care they receive from social services, many carers in Gateshead report poor or very poor quality of life and unmet need.
 ONS Census, 2011 (ONS or Local Health website)
 Gateshead Carer Survey Report, Gateshead Carers Association, May 2014 (Gatesheadcarers.com website)
 Personal Social Services User Survey of Carers in England, Summary of Survey Results, 2014/15
 Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers. HSCIC 2016/17 (PHOF website)