Not Just a Patient: GP Support for Carers in Croydon
As part of the Carers Week campaign to build carer friendly communities, the Carers Information Service surveyed 205 adult carers registered with a GP in the London Borough of Croydon about their experience of using GP services. Our research found:
- 61% of carers say their GP knows about their caring role.
- 82% of carers have not been informed of carer support available in the community.
- 59% of carers have not been informed of the NHS Health Check by their GP.
- Over a third (35%) of carers have not been informed of the annual flu jab by their GP.
- Almost half (49%) of carers want their GP to tell them about local carer support.
Research has shown that carers are at increased risk of long-term health problems, including back pain, mental health problems and stroke (Royal College of General Practitioners, 2013). Given these increased health risks, it's vital that carers receive the right support to help them take care of their health.
How GPs can help carers
This Carers Week, we are calling on GPs to be more carer friendly. We would like to see:
- GPs and reception staff actively identifying carers at their surgery e.g. through questions on registration forms and looking out for people who support patients to appointments.
- GP surgeries giving carers information information about the Carers Support Centre and other local support services for carers.
- GPs informing eligible carers about the annual flu jab and the NHS Health Check.
- Surgeries offering carers more flexible appointments if needed.
- GPs and reception staff being carer aware, listening to carers' needs and treating them with dignity and respect.
- GPs treating carers as equal partners in care, sharing information in the patient’s best interests with informed patient consent.
Call on your GP to make the Carers Week pledge
As part of the national Carers Week campaign, we are asking GPs and other local services to pledge to support carers.
You can also tell them about our carers pack for GPs to help them provide a carer friendly service.
Carers Week Talk: GPs & Carers in Croydon
Our Carers Week GP talk on Thursday 15 June, 10.30am - 12.30pm at the Carers Support Centre invites carers and local health professionals to discuss our research and consider the best ways forward to support carers health and wellbeing needs. Find out what's going on in the borough and add your comments.