"Sandwich caregivers", caring for their own children as well as elderly relatives, suffer from depression and anxiety far worse than the general population, according to data from the Department of Statistics.

TSeven percent complained of some form of mental health problems compared to the norm of 22 percent.

This figure rises to one-third of those who provide 20 or more hours of care per week, compared to 23% of those who provide less than five hours of care per week.

Meanwhile, more than 1.3 million people in Britain are sandwich caregivers, partly because of increasing life expectancy and the fact that women have their first child at a higher age, according to the ONS.