An exploration of the UK carer world

 GPs nationally             the pilliative NHS

  1. Does your GP care about carers?  Duty of care - unpaid carers.
  2. Are you a carer? 
  3. Registration
  4. Your surgery
  5. Message from Chairman of the Professional Development Board
  6. Carers in Practice
  7. 'Allo - 'Allo

Here is a poster from early 2012 taken (having asked) from a surgery notice board in October 2013.


1  Does your GP care about carers? 


Around one in ten patients in every GP practice is estimated to care for a relative or friend who is sick, disabled, or frail. While attention is focused on supporting the needs of the person being cared for, a carer’s own health care and support needs can often be overlooked and it is common for carers to suffer from physical strain or mental health issues such as stress and depression.


Individual awards are made to practices in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with an overall award for the GP or practice judged to have made the biggest difference or improvement to carers’ lives 

more  here


Making the best use of doctors’ skills – a balanced partnership

The document here makes no mention of carers.


GP duty of care - unpaid carers here

2  Are you a carer?

Do you look after a relative or friend who is sick, disabled, frail or has a problem with alcohol and/or drugs?

IF YES… then you know how help from your GP and their practice can make all the difference.  source

3  Registration


Across Britain, many surgeries invite you to register as a carer within the practice.  You may receive help and resources in some cases. One view is that, ideally, you and your cared-for will be under the same GP.  Although it is logical to be able to discuss matters concerning both carer and cared-for with the GP, it is not assumed in every case.  You may need to negotiate involving signed documents.  


Good practice in carer support here


Example  -   "Carers Mouse Mat" good practice - Salford

Salford Carers’ Centre has produced a specialised mouse mat for GPs that will lead to increased carers’ referrals to them. Read codes are used to record information on patients, standardising how that information is recorded. So, if a patient is a carer, the GP completes the code 918G.

Some GPs do not think about this code, or other carer related ones, when speaking with patients. This mouse mat hopes to put these codes right in the forefront of GP’s thoughts so that they will ask patients if they are a carer, and refer them to the local carers’ centre

4  Your surgery

One aspect of what will happen is that you sign a form at the surgery which goes to the local  Carers Support service.

Ask if the surgery does more than that.  Herefordshire Carers Support gives its carers a useful document here.

5  Message from Nigel Sparrow, Chairman of the Professional Development Board, RCGP

Numbers added for ease of referencing


While there is usually much sympathy and concern for a patient, there is often little acknowledgement or appreciation for the person caring for them.  


Within time, the stresses of looking after someone day in, day out, make it likely that carers will themselves become patients and increasingly will come to rely on their GP. Currently, caring has an adverse impact on the health of 80 per cent of carers and ten per cent of GP patients are those with caring responsibilities.


As many as 200 patient carers could be registered with each GP practice, so family doctors are ideally placed to contribute towards providing a better deal for carers and ensuring that they and the people they care for receive the highest quality care.


Crucially, doctors need to encourage vulnerable carers to take ownership of their health needs. To do this we need to improve the level of communication between primary care teams and patients who are carers and to standardise this across the 11,000 GP practices in the UK.


With this aim in mind, the RCGP is working with the The Trust in the Carers in Practice partnership.

The partnership has already produced two checklists for carers and GPs, and in October (2013) will launch a guide for GP practices with practical advice on how family doctors can best support carers.


 Carers as Partners (leaflet for GPs) (557 KB)

 Carers in Practice (leaflet for carers) (642 KB)

If you have difficulties in viewing any of the PDF documents available on this page, please see our help for accessing PDF files

6  Carers in Practice - RCGP

A revised second edition of the best practice guide ‘Supporting Carers: An action guide for general practitioners and their teams’ has been released by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

 You can download the newly available guide below: (3.7 MB)

Why support carers? More information here

To submit examples of best practice please email

7  'Allo - 'Allo

Where are zey putting all the earth from ze tunnel?’

‘In the graves they have already dug.’

‘But where are zey putting all ze earth from ze graves?’

‘They are digging more graves…’

And there you have it — the NHS, in a nutshell.  

Like the characters in ‘Allo, ‘Allo!, the NHS is about to make a grave mistake. Unfortunately, this one’s not funny. 

more and comment here



GP Enterprise Awards 2014 here.

pagetop here    for pasting        GPs nationally here