Does your GP care about carers?

DSC_0555In my (ahem) forty or so years on the planet, and multiple moves from location to location, I’ve seen a fair few GPs not least because nowadays it can be difficult to see the same one more than once.

Whilst pretty much all of them have done a decent job clinically, there are definitely some who have done a better job in all the other ways that matter. And that goes for my friends and  family too. Like the GP who, knowing my neighbour’s wife had died, took the initiative to come and visit him, just to see how he was coping. Like the GP who, when my friend needed to be admitted to a mental health unit, waited till I arrived at his surgery, and drove  us there himself and saw us into the ward  to make the whole experience less stressful for her.

There have been the ones who have been not so great too. We can all think of times when we’ve gone to the GP, and perhaps because they’re so busy with a backlog of patients in the waiting room, we’ve  felt hurried along and out of the door before we’ve had a chance to really discuss what we wanted to.

The little things go a long way

If you’re a carer, you’ll know all about this. Good GPs and practice staff can make a huge difference and are key to identifying carers. And once they’ve identified carers, they can ensure they get support. Some have flexible appointments, whilst others will do home visits for carers if they really struggle to get out of the house because of their caring role.

Some bring different agencies into the surgery and have support sessions for carers, and have links with their local carers centre or scheme. Others do carers’ health checks and run campaigns to make sure carers get the flu vaccinations they’re entitled to, or signpost them to ways of getting a break.

All this really can make a difference. Identifying carers, and making sure they get the advice and support they need means carers staying mentally and physically well for longer. And in the long run this pays off for GPs too –  people who are healthier ultimately take up less GP time. It makes sense all round.

The Caring About Carers Awards

So if you know of a GP doing a brilliant job, why not recognise this? Carers Trust, in partnership with The Royal College of GPs and Carers UK are looking for the GPs who really are making a difference for carers. You can nominate them for one of this year’s Caring About Carers Awards here.

We’re often told things can’t be done because it costs too much, because it’s too complicated, because everyone’s too busy. But supporting carers doesn’t need to be any of these things. It’s straightforward – identify, listen, involve, signpost for support.  Let’s celebrate the practices out there who are getting it right.


July 15, 2013 - Posted by | Health, Uncategorized | ,


  1. Justice for all carers long differenticate between young or older adult is wrong as it is just as important to be employable as educated.peculiar educated professionals in cae industry / education need help to identrify carers as both are well incentifized by income/work packages.and should have a bloody heart to speak out for kids and all ages carers.the vast sums wasted on carer recognition workets/council care offices with muliple a4,s and all the millions spent on carer chartitys by government would be best spent /allocated to the slaves in poverty in uk providing daily requlat care with no hope of time of.its laughable doctors now in charge respite funds refuse carers this saying not a bottomless pit?no nurse/dr works 7days pw.take their patients solo elsewhere in world for merda 58quid pw.explotation a very uk habit on the poor vunerable disabled

    Comment by jo procter | December 9, 2013 | Reply

    • Kids should receive real social care help if care role falls within their family in shape of friendly do us older carers they dont need paint face one off pleasure days but less stress with reasonable funds to cover etc not forgetting time to have their own life.

      Carers in community are also buied.villifed.

      Comment by jo procter | December 10, 2013 | Reply

  2. So when do carers get obe/mbe other awards for their work over and beyond voluntry and paid professionals.

    When medical/doctors/social care at last treat carers as members of care team equally and cease exloitation of our personal relationship and love for person we care for.

    Comment by jo procter | December 10, 2013 | Reply

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