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Introduction to Survey of Adult Carers in England - Data Access Request Service (DARS)

Video of webinar presented by Robyn Wilson

March 2020

Transcript of the “Introduction to Survey of Adult Carers in England” webinar

Slide 1

Hello and welcome to this webinar on the Survey of Adult Carers in England.

My name is Robyn Wilson and I am the Analytical Section Head for this data set.

Slide 2

The Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England, often shortened to Carers’ Survey, is a biennial national survey, conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (or CASSRs for short).

It gathers information from a sample of carers aged 18 or over, who are caring for a person also aged 18 or over, and they are also known to the CASSR.

The Carers’ Survey seeks to learn more about the impact of carers’ support services and about the impact that these services have on carers’ quality of life.

Slide 3

The Survey of Adult Carers in England forms part of the wider programme of work, in which NHS Digital collect and publish a wide range of information on adult social care activities.

The social care data is submitted to NHS Digital by the 152 councils, in England, with adult social services responsibilities.

It is then used to populate the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) and to produce a range of reports, which are available from the NHS Digital’s website.

Most of the national adult social care data collections are available in an aggregated form, whilst the Survey of Adult Carers in England and the Adult Social Care Survey are available on an individual record level.

For ease, in the rest of this presentation, I will refer to the Survey of Adult Carers in England as the “carers’ survey”.

Slide 4

There are 6 main areas the Survey of Adult Carers in England collects data on:

1. The information about the carer

2. The information about the cared-for person

3. The impact of caring and quality of life

4. The quality of any information and advice received

5. The carer’s needs and experiences of support

6. The carer’s involvement in arranging services for the cared-for person

The Carers’ Survey is collected predominantly via postal survey and it has been ongoing since the financial year 2009/10.

Slide 5

The sampling method used for the Carers’ Survey is known as random sampling. This involves identifying the eligible population and randomly drawing a sample from this.

Eligible population are those recorded within the last three rows of the Short and Long Term Support (SALT) return on carers provided support during the year, SALT measure LTS003.

The sample frame therefore contains all carers aged 18 and over who either received “support direct to carer” or “no direct support to carer”, irrespective of whether their cared-for person received respite care.

The sample size for England is roughly 50,000 representing an eligible population of around 300,000 carers.

The Data Quality of the survey is fully described each year in a dedicated report published as part of the materials – we’ve included a link to the most recent Carers’ publication page.

Slide 6

The Carers’ Survey is available to request through the NHS Digital’s Data Access Request Service, under its standard application process.

The Carers’ Survey data is available to request only in a pseudonymised form.

As it does not contain direct identifiers, the Carers’ data cannot be linked to other assets.

Customers would receive a flat csv file, where one line would represent one carer.

The data is structured in yearly files, aligned to financial years, starting from 2009/10.

Slide 7

In order to protect individuals from the risk of re-identification, the following restrictions must be applied when publishing outcomes of analyses based on Carers’ data.

Age and ethnicity are to be grouped into broad categories

  • age: into 18-64 and 65 and over,
  • ethnicity: is to be grouped into white, non-white and refused/not stated.

Sensitive data items available (sexual identity, religion and reported health condition) are only to be published in an aggregate form.

In instances where less than three carers, within a council, have unique combinations of the most identifiable variables – gender, age, ethnicity and number of children under 18 – a suppression to value ‘99’ of these four variables will be required.

Where data for gender, age, ethnicity and number of children under 18 are all missing, the records are not to be altered.

Slide 8

To find out more about the Survey of Adult Carers in England, our publications or about the Data Access Request Service, please use the links provided here.

Slide 9

Alternatively, contact us via email on or by telephone on 0300 303 5678.

Last edited: 28 July 2021 4:27 pm