In July 2013, VOCAL conducted a survey of carers in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The survey had two main purposes. It provided an opportunity for carers to comment on recent and imminent changes in the way carers receive support and services (including carers’ rights, Self-Directed Support (SDS), economic well-being and use of technology). It also sought feedback on carers’ experiences of VOCAL and the difference VOCAL support had made to their caring situations.

The survey was mailed to 5,498 carers, advertised on the VOCAL website and promoted through carer networks. A total of 714 responses were received – a response rate of 13.2% which is similar to the response rate for the previous 2011 carer survey (14%). Comments received from carers across the survey illustrate a wide range of caring situations and a wide range of needs and responses to the difficulties and challenges of caring. In personal comments, many carers expressed overwhelming emotions of stress, pressure, anxiety and concerns as they manage often exhausting caring responsibilities. The survey also suggests that carers have strong views regarding carer assessment and concerns regarding their lack of knowledge of SDS.

Download the VOCAL Carer Survey Report 2013