Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Survey of Carers in Households, 2009-2010
Survey of Carers in Households, 2009-2010

Health and Performance
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
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Contact information

Health and Social Care Information Centre
Health and Social Care Information Centre
Several addresses across the UK: The Head Office is: 1 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6AE.
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)845 3006016
Email: enquiries(at)

Timeliness, transparency

This survey was only carried out only once, and is not planned to be repeated in the future.

Type of data


Type of Study

Cross-section, one-off

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Access to data

Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email:

Conditions of access

Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See:
For more information, see:

This depends upon the user and conditions of use.

Anonymised microdata

Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.



The Survey of Carers in Households, 2009-2010 was commissioned by the Department of Health as part of the Government's Carers' Strategy programme. Funded by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (NHS IC) undertook responsibility for the survey. GfK NOP was commissioned to carry out face-to-face interviews over 11 months of fieldwork in a representative sample of homes in England. Carers were identified via a short screening 'prevalence' questionnaire at addresses which were randomly selected from the Postcode Address File (PAF). Carers were defined as those people who identified themselves as having extra responsibilities of looking after someone who has a long-term physical or mental ill health or disability, or problems related to old age. People providing care in a professional capacity were excluded. The main questionnaire then identified carers who also fitted the General Household Survey (GHS) definition of 'Carers', which excludes those caring as volunteers for a charity or organisation, those caring for someone in an institution, those providing financial support only and those caring for someone with a temporary illness or disability, and asked a further range of questions. The main-stage of the research was conducted between May 2009 and April 2010, with separate samples issued for each month of fieldwork, other than in December. In total, 2,401 carers, as identified by the householder, were interviewed for this survey. The CAPI questionnaire included subsequent questions to identify a group of carers which was consistent with the definition used in the GHS (General Household Survey). In total 2,199 carers were included in this group. [Note: Older people are represented in this data source (approximately) according to their proportion in the population. In 2011, over one third of the total UK population (and approximately 40 per cent of the adult population 16+) was aged 50 and over.]

[One-off survey] 2009-2010

The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.

Multi-stage stratified random sample

England Government Office Regions (NUTS1)

Adults aged 16+

Representative of the adult population (aged 16 and over) living in (private) household in England The dataset includes weighting variables

The aims of the 2009/10 survey were to update the existing information that is held about care provision. In terms of the specific focus of the research, the survey was required to provide information about: • The prevalence of caring amongst different groups in England, as measured by a new methodology; • The profile of carers and people being cared for; • Intensity of care provision; • Carers’ use of services; • The impact of caring upon carers’ health, wellbeing and quality of life.

For information on publications, see the HSCIC website: Search?productid=1698&q=Survey+of+Carers+in+Households%2c+2009-2010&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=1&area=both#top


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see:
Additionally, coding of this data is largely consistent with the General Household Survey (GHS).

Data are anonymised

Data quality

In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. Summary information on entry errors is not readily available, but the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website contains the available information on data processing after the data was collected.

This survey was only carried out only once, and is not planned to be repeated in the future.

Coding of this data is largely consistent with the General Household Survey (GHS). For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


The prevalence questionnaire covered household demographics and structure and aimed to identify carers eligible for the survey. The main questionnaire covered household information, whether respondent met the GHS definition of 'carer', support given to main person(s) cared for, support for carer, access to specific services for carers, impact of care-giving on carer, impact of care-giving on employment prospects and demographic details. Further information may be found on the NHS IC Survey of Carers in Households - 2009/10 England web page.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Mike Murphy
  • (see Partners)