This data element should be collected for the informal carer and is only reported in relation to service users that have an informal carer.
A service user may have more than one family member or friend providing them with care and assistance. In such circumstances, this data element relates to the carer who is identified as providing the most care and assistance. It is recognised that two or more people may equally share the caring role (e.g. mother and father) however, for the purposes of the DS NMDS, characteristics are only requested for one of these carers. The expressed views of the service user and/or their carer or significant other should be used as the basis for determining which carer should be considered to be the main carer in this regard.
When asking the person about the age of their carer it is considered more appropriate to ask about broad age groups rather than actual age.
Source and reference attributes
DS NMDS Network.
Disability Services National Minimum Data Set (DS NMDS) collection. Data Guide: data items and definitions 2009–10.