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Survey of Adult Carers in England, 2021-22 guidance for local authorities

Carers are a key policy area within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This survey has been developed to learn more about whether services received by carers are helping them in their caring role and their life outside of caring, and also about their perception of the services provided to the person they care for.

Update - revised date for collection

Due to the additional pressures that coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought on all services, the Survey of Adult Carers in England (SACE) 2020-21 was postponed by one full year. The documents below are for the revised dates for the 2021-22 collection. It will continue to run biennially, so the next round after this will be 2023-24.

This decision to postpone the 2020-21 collection was taken by the Adult Social Care Data and Outcomes Board (DOB), taking into account feedback received from the Social Services User Survey Group (SSUSG).

All councils were notified of this postponement on 6 August 2020.


The survey will feed into monitoring of the impact of the national carers strategy and it will also be used to populate a number of measures in the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework.

  • 1D - Carer-reported quality of life score (Questions 7-12)
  • 1I(2) - Proportion of carers who reported that they had as much social contact as they would like (Question 11)
  • 3B - Overall satisfaction of carers with social services (Question 4)
  • 3C - Proportion of carers who report that they have been included or consulted in discussion about the person they care for (Question 18)
  • 3D(2) - Proportion of carers who find it easy to find information about support (Question 16).

Learn more about the data from previous carers surveys


This survey administration guidance document sets out the actions that Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) will need to perform during 2021-2022 to carry out the survey and provide data to NHS Digital.  

We have provided additional supporting information to assist you with correctly identifying the eligible population for this survey. 

The Data Submission process slides go through the completion and validating of the data return. We have provided these slides to pull out the key bits of information needed for this part of the survey process.

Additional questions

Any additional questions or free text boxes that your council would like to include as part of the survey (including those approved for previous surveys) should be sent for review, using the additional questions form. The form needs to be returned to [email protected] by Friday 10 September 2021. A selection of previously approved questions is available for consideration within the question bank

If dates are needed to be changed due to the current pandemic, these will be communicated.


SACE 2021-22 materials - questionnaires, letters and forms, and interview scripts.

Sample size calculator

Data return

The final data return will be made available through the Strategic Data Collection System (SDCS). For more information on SDCS, contact the data collections team. Only the final version that is available on SDCS can be submitted.

See a draft version of the data return.

The final data return is protected to ensure the structure of the data return is not changed. Councils are able to request an unprotected version of the data return for their internal use only. The unprotected version of the data return must not be used for the submission that is made to NHS Digital.

If councils require a copy of the unprotected data return, please email [email protected] to request it. Please include in the email the reason you require the unprotected version of the data return and confirmation that you understand that only the version on SDCS can be used to submit data to NHS Digital.


2021-22 Survey of Adult Carers in England data return validator

Last edited: 17 May 2023 2:47 pm