Unpaid carers have saved the state £14.8 billion over the course of the second lockdown - and are on the verge of “breakdown”, a leading charity has warned. According to research conducted by Carers UK, – one of four charities supported by this year’s Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal, every day that the pandemic continues, unpaid carers are saving the state £530 million in the unpaid care they provide. This equates to the cost of their care work if it was paid. Furthermore, during the second lockdown from November 5 to December 2, unpaid carers will have saved the state £14.8 billion in the care work they have provided each day. Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, which has published the research to coincide with Carers Rights Day, warned: “With every day that this pandemic goes on, unpaid carers are being pushed to the limit providing ever more care for loved ones with fast-diminishing support. They say they feel completely overlooked, overwhelmed, and can’t go on like this. “Without crucial breaks services up and running this winter, we will only see more unpaid carers break down and an increase in hospital admissions at a time when the health system is already under significant pressure. “The Government has to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by carers during this pandemic – the value of which is a staggering £530 million every single day - and give back to carers by prioritising their health, wellbeing and resilience this winter.” The comments come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extra £1billion to spend on social care in yesterday’s Spending Review. This is in addition to the £1billion already pledged this year. However, MPs and industry professionals, such as Care England and Vic Rayner, executive director, National Care Forum, have claimed that up to £8billion is needed - excluding the extra costs that COVID-19 has incurred. Recently published research by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) found 63% of councils have seen a rise in people seeking help because unpaid carer arrangements have broken down. This is at a time when many carers are taking on significantly more unpaid care for their loved ones, while the crucial day and support services they would normally rely on remain closed. Carers UK is warning that “people caring round the clock are going to break down after months of caring without respite”. The charity estimates that the care provided by people looking after older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends during the pandemic stands at £135 billion so far, after just eight months. Previous research by the charity found that the majority (81%) of carers have been taking on more care since the start of the pandemic and nearly two thirds (63%) are worried about how they will continue to manage over winter.