Unpaid carers are being pushed to 'breaking point' due to reduced services, a charity has warned today.
Research by Carers UK found that four in five unpaid carers are providing more care for relatives than before the lockdown.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of carers said they are worried about how they will cope through further lockdowns or local restrictions over the winter.
The survey found 40% of carers are providing more care because the needs of the person they look after have increased, while 38% are providing more care because their local services have been significantly reduced or closed.
Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said: 'I am deeply concerned that so many carers are on the brink and desperately worried about how they will manage during the next wave of the pandemic. Government must prioritise carers in its plans, carry out an urgent review of breaks’ services and ensure that wider social care services have enough funding to manage over winter.
'We strongly urge local authorities to use the Infection Control Fund to help reinstate crucial day and support services that carers really need.'
The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils are doing all they can to support carers through the pandemic but they could do more with further resources.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'The Government must use its upcoming Spending Review to urgently provide councils with the extra funding they need to help support unpaid carers as well as people who use services ahead of winter and the second wave of COVID-19, while also using this as the basis for future reform of social care and support to place it on a long-term, sustainable footing.'