Carers breaks

Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Research

A survey of the experiences and needs of male carers

Husband, Partner, Dad, Son, Carer? is the report of a survey of the experiences and needs of male carers, carried out by Carers Trust and the Men’s Health Forum at the start of 2014.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illnessSecondary CareAcute Care
Outcomes: 
WellbeingCarer awarenessCarers in employment
I work in: 
Carers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning
I work with: 
Adult carersParent carersFamilies
Caring for: 
Young peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 10:15
Body: 

Caring is often seen as a ‘female’ issue but it is something that affects a large number of men too. The 2011 Census found that in England and Wales more than four in ten carers are male (42.3%) - amounting to 2.44 million men providing care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

Despite their vast number, there has been little research to understand the experiences of these men or the vital role that they play in their families.

Carers Trust and the Men’s Health Forum sought to learn more about men’s experiences of caring, the impact it has on their lives and the support services they feel would be helpful to them. A total of 609 male carers from across the UK took part in a survey which included 119 fathers, all of whom were caring for a child or children with a disability, long term conditions or mental health or addiction issue. PDF iconDads care too: A survey of the experiences of fathers who are carers showcases the experiences of these dads.

Key findings

  • 119 dads responded, of all ages.
  • The highest proportion (72%) care for a son or daughter with a learning disability or autism.
  •  Nearly 20% had been caring for 21 years or more.
  • 35% cared alongside being in employment. 40% of those spent 60 or more hours caring per week.
  • A third of dads reported that they never get a break.
  • 46% said caring had a negative impact on their mental health, and 43% said it had a negative impact on their physical health.
  • Almost three quarters said they missed out on spending time with friends and family members as a result of being a carer.
  • The most common support wanted but not received was breaks from their caring role.
  • 55% said they felt the needs of male carers were different from female carers.
  • Many felt their role as a carer was not recognised, or that services were not designed in a way which met their needs.

Further information

Download Dads Care too.

Read the reportPDF iconHusband, Partner, Dad, Son, Carer: A Survey of the Experiences and Needs of Male Carers

Exexutive Summary (PDF iconEnglish language version(PDF, 1,728KB).

Executive Summary (PDF iconWelsh_language version(PDF, 728KB).

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Educational

About Time Grant Evaluations

Following the successful delivery of two About Time Grant programmes, Time for Change and Take Action and Support which addressed issues that can lead to young adult carers becoming disengaged from society, independent evaluations of the two programmes have been produced.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illness
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationCarer awarenessIdentifying carersCarers in employment
I work in: 
Primary careMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersEmploymentSocial careEducationCommissioning
I work with: 
Young adult carers
Caring for: 
AdultsOlder adultsYoung peopleChildren
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 10:00
Body: 

Key points: 

The objectives of the evaluations were to:
  • Provide an overall evaluation of all data to assess the progress of funded projects against the aims and objectives of the About Time grant programmes and of the wider About Time programme.
  • Conduct a qualitative study with funded projects to identify effective strategies and approaches for supporting and enabling young adult carers.
  • Provide a focused evaluation of data derived from outcomes measurement tools designed to measure the extent of care undertaken, the positive and negative impacts of caring for young adult carers and changes in their lives because of taking part in the funded intervention.
  • Evaluate the impacts of programme delivery and Carers Trust grant making processes on funded organisations.

About Time evaluations

The evaluations of the Time for Change and Take Action and Support grant programmes were structured in three phases and each had its own evaluation report with an overview of the whole programme also produced.

Phase one: February–October 2015

 

Phase two: November 2015–November 2016

PDF iconAbout Time Grant Programmes Evaluation Report Phase 2 November 2015 to November 2016 Executive Summary PDF (177 KB)

PDF iconAbout Time Grant Programmes Evaluation Report Phase 2 November 2015  to November 2016 PDF (323 KB)

Phase three: December 2016–October 2017

PDF icon About Time Grant Programme Evaluation Report Phase 3 December 2016 to October 2017 Executive Summary PDF (251 KB)

PDF icon About Time Grant Programme Evaluation Report Phase 3 December 2016 to October 2017 PDF (483 KB)

Overview Report

PDF icon About Time Grant Programme Evaluation Overview Report PDF (519 KB)

Key achievements and learning from the programmes include:

  • Around 7,200 young adult carers have benefited from 114 projects delivered by Carers Trust Network Partners, exceeding the original target of 6,200 young adult carers.
  • Programmes provided support to significant numbers of young adult carers for the first time, with over half of the young people participating being new to Carers Trust Network Partners.
  • Programmes developed a flexible response to the needs of young adult carers, including individual support, group activities and access to small grants for individuals, alongside the development of partnerships.
  • The programme design involved young adult carers and Network Partners, ensuring programmes reflected specific needs across UK.
  • Projects have been successful in reaching a representative group of young adult carers and there was a good geographic spread of projects across the UK.
  • Carers Trust has enabled Network Partners to deliver effective projects by being flexible about delivery approaches and providing good quality support, information and training.
  • The Carers Trust Network has a unique role in supporting the needs of young adult carers.
Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Key Info

Young Carer Services

Young carers’ services provide a level of expertise in supporting young carers that universal services, by virtue of being universal, cannot provide.
Area of Care: 
Mental HealthPhysical illness
Outcomes: 
PreventionCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersSocial careEducationCommissioning
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 11:45
Body: 

Young carers’ services provide a level of expertise in supporting young carers that universal services, by virtue of being universal, cannot provide.

Many are able to be flexible and creative in how they deliver services. By championing the needs of young carers and families, many local services have also driven forward strategic change and workforce development in local areas.

Early intervention

Young carer services offer a range of early intervention and prevention support to young people with caring responsibilities aimed at:  

  • identifying and supporting young carers early
  • reducing inappropriate or excessive caring roles
  • improving young carers physical, mental and emotional health
  • reducing barriers to accessing and sustaining education, training and employment
  • Improving young carers’ life chances and helping them reach their potential.

Young carer services range in size and services offered, with funding coming from a range of sources including local authorities and voluntary sector grants.

Many young carer’s services have now also adopted a whole family approach. Many are now assessing and responding to the needs of the whole family by directly supporting families or by actively coordinating the support of other services.

Different types of activities offered include

  • activities and breaks
  • peer and community support, including young carers groups and peer mentoring schemes
  • information, advice and guidance, including 1:1 support and age appropriate information
  • emotional support
  • advocacy
  • brokerage and support planning
  • training in subjects such as health and safety, wellbeing and life skills
  • supporting families and young carers to apply for appropriate benefits
  • emergency planning support
  • whole family support
  • raising awareness and upskilling the workforce, including engagement with education, health and social care professionals
  • Young carers informing service development.

Where are young carer services located?

The Children's Society website has a map of young carers projects around the UK. Use the postcode, address or county search to zoom in to find local projects.

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Key Info

Who are young carers?

Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide unpaid care to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersEmploymentSocial careEducationCommissioning
I work with: 
Young adult carers
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 11:45
Body: 

Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide unpaid care to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances.

The tasks and level of caring undertaken by young carers can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family as a whole.

A young carer may undertake some or all of the following:

  • practical tasks such as cooking, housework, shopping
  • physical care such as lifting, helping up the stairs and physiotherapy
  • personal Care such as dressing, washing and helping someone go to the toilet
  • emotional support such as listening, calming someone and being present
  • household management such as paying the bills, managing finances and collecting benefits
  • looking after siblings such as putting to be and walking to school
  • interpreting for parents with hearing or speech impediments or English as an additional language
  • Administering medication such as insulin needles and preparing daily tablets.

How many young carers are there in the UK?

The 2011 census identifies over 200,000 young carers in the UK, but research by the BBC in 2010 indicates that there are as many as 700,000 young carers living in the UK.

Hidden carers

Carers remain hidden for many reasons including:

  • they do not realise that they are a carer or that their life is different to their peers
  • their parent’s do not realise that their children are carers
  • they worry that the family will be split up and taken into care
  • they don’t want to be any different from their peers
  • their parent’s condition is not obvious so people don’t think that they need any help
  • there has been no opportunity to share their story
  • They see no reason or positive actions occurring as a result of telling their story.

Why do young carers need your support?

Young carers often go unnoticed in their communities, but the negative impacts of caring on young people can be very real and enduring. If left unsupported young carers can take on responsibilities that will have a lasting effect on their health and wellbeing, friendships and life opportunities.

Many young carers experience issues with their:

  • physical health: often severely affected by caring through the night, repeatedly lifting a heavy adult, poor diet and lack of sleep
  • emotional wellbeing: stress, tiredness and mental ill-health are common for young carers
  • isolation: feeling different or isolated from their peers and with limited social opportunities
  • Lack of a stable environment: traumatic life changes such as bereavement, family break-up, losing income and housing, or seeing the effects of an illness or addiction.

The wider impacts of these effects can be felt on a young carer in their education, employment and their health and wellbeing.

Find out more

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Promotional

Triangle of Care Resources

Network Partners, carers’ organisations and mental health service providers can now promote the Triangle of Care to carers, professionals and service users with these specially designed leaflets and posters.
Area of Care: 
Mental Health
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersSocial careCommissioning
Location: 
Whole UK
Date Revised: 
Friday, April 29, 2016 - 13:15
Body: 

Leaflets and poster templates promoting Triangle of Care 

Network Partners, carers’ organisations and mental health service providers can now promote the Triangle of Care to carers, professionals and service users with these specially designed leaflets and posters. 

The leaflets and posters include:

These leaflets and posters can be downloaded and used locally as there is space for contact details and an organisation’s logo to promote the national messages of the Triangle of Care project.

In addition services who are implementing the Triangle of Care and are considering how to measure outcomes from implementation may benefit from the Outcomes Briefing which has been developed in consultation with all services who are currently working on the Triangle of Care in mental health.

FileMeasuring outcomes from the Triangle of Care

Triangle of Care Learning Event Presentations

Carers Trust's second learning event took place on 28 April 2016, bringing together mental health services, carers, Network Partners and third sector organisations to look at the progress Triangle of Care has made and how this can be sustained.

All the presenters have agreed to share their presentations and they can be found below.

FileGreater Manchester West Presentation One

Office presentation iconNorthumberland, Tyne & Wear Presentation Two

Office presentation iconSomerset Presentation Three

FileNorfolk & Suffolk Presentation Four

FileTriangle of Care in Education Presentation Five

FileLeeds & York Forensic Services Presentation Six

Carers Trust held a Triangle of Care Learning Event in May 2013 in Manchester. The event brought together statutory mental health providers, third sector organisations, Network Partners and carers to share good practice, learn more about implementing the Triangle of Care in their organisation and how to work in partnership to achieve implementation.

All the presenters and workshop leads, kindly agreed to share their presentations after the event. 

Further Information

The following documents have been created for the benefit of carers and professional service providers:

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Guidance

National Carers Strategy

This page gives details of the objectives and key issues of The Carers’ Strategy, which was published in 2008, and refreshed in 2010.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carersCarers in employment
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersEmploymentSocial careEducationCommissioning
Caring for: 
Adults
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 11:00
Body: 

Carers’ Strategy (England) 2008-2018, refreshed 2010

The National Carers’ Strategy published in 2008 set five outcomes to be achieved by 2018, so that carers will be:

  • recognised and supported as an expert care partner
  • enjoying a life outside caring
  • not financially disadvantaged
  • mentally and physically well, treated with dignity
  • children will be thriving, protected from inappropriate caring roles.

In order to achieve these outcomes, the strategy suggests that strategic planning must be carer-led, that services should actively identify and include carers, and that commissioning should take a whole-area approach.

The Coalition Government refreshed this strategy in 2010 retaining these aims but inserting four priority areas:

  1. Supporting early self-identification and involvement in local care planning and individual care planning.
  2. Enabling carers to fulfill their educational and employment potential.
  3. Personalised support for carers and those receiving care.
  4. Support carers to remain healthy.

Acting on these priorities to achieve the five outcomes is the overall goal of the refreshed National Carers’ Strategy and the basis for successful commissioning of services. 

For more information about how these outcomes and priorities originated and the long-term plans to achieve them, read Recognised, Valued and Supported: Next Steps for the Carers' Strategy and the original strategy document, Carers at the Heart of 21st Century Families and Communities.

Details of how to assess the services in a particular area in relation to the Carers' Strategy can be found in Commissioning for Carers: an Action Guide for Decision-Makers and Commissioning Better Outcomes for Carers

Strategy for Carers in Scotland 1999

The Strategy for Carers in Scotland 1999 provides the basic template for the local Council strategies that they are required to publish on a regular basis. There are local variations to these documents. 

National Carers Strategy (Wales) 2000

Reviewed each year with an action plan, this is currently being reviewed in the light of the National Carers Strategy (England) 2008.

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Guidance

Young Carers Assessment in Scotland

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 means that young carers, along with any other child with additional needs, should have any needs concerning their well-being assessed through the process of the child’s plan.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersSocial careEducation
I work with: 
Young carers
Location: 
Scotland
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 11:30
Body: 

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, legislating for the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach means that young carers, along with any other child with additional needs, should have any needs concerning their well-being assessed through the process of the child’s plan. This will ensure there is a single planning approach for children who need additional support from services, providing a single point of contact for every child and providing a holistic understanding of wellbeing.

The tools used in the process include the Resilience Matrix and the My World Triangle.

Young carer services in Scotland work with partner agencies to meet the needs of the child.  Training for practitioners is usually available locally from GIRFEC teams. Guidance around implementation of the Act is currently being developed for practitioners and is expected to be published in the summer of 2014.

Additional support needs

In addition, the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended in 2009) places a duty on local authorities to make arrangements to identify children and young people’s additional support needs.

Any parent or young person is entitled to ask a local authority to assess if a child or young person has additional support needs, and if they need a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP).  Not all young people with additional support needs will require a CSP, some may require more of a ’light touch’ intervention.

Many young carers’ services have developed their own assessment process to inform their work with individual young carers.

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Guidance

Scottish Government Guidance

"Getting It right for Young Carers" is the Scottish Government’s strategy to support young carers and young adult carers.
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingIntegrationHealth inequalitiesCarer awarenessIdentifying carersCarers in employment
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHospitalsMental health careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersEmploymentSocial careEducationCommissioning
I work with: 
Young adult carersYoung carers
Caring for: 
Adults
Location: 
Scotland
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 11:30
Body: 

Scottish Government – national strategy

Getting It right for Young Carers is Scottish Government’s strategy to support young carers and young adult carers from 2010 until 2015. 

The strategy comprises 46 action points involving professionals across health, education and social services as well as Skills Development Scotland and other voluntary sector services.

It is the vision of Scottish Government that by 2015, increasing numbers of young carers will be effectively identified and supported by statutory and Third Sector services using the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach.  This will include the provision of an assessment, information and advice and a range of supports.  These will combine to relieve young carers of inappropriate caring roles, to promote their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and enable them to be children and young people first and foremost.  

The vision also means that young carers will:

  • have their rights respected and promoted
  • be treated at all times with respect and dignity
  • be treated as individuals and have any particular or special needs recognised
  • be relieved of inappropriate caring roles and able to enjoy their childhood
  • have a life outside of their caring role
  • be supported to stay physically and mentally well
  • be informed through having access to information, advice and support
  • be involved and empowered in making age appropriate contribution to caring.

Read Getting It Right For Young Carers: The Young Carers Strategy for Scotland: 2010 - 2015 Summary on the Scottish Government website.

Carers Legislation

The first stage of consultation began around proposals for legislation for carers and young carers in January 2014.  The proposals include that:

  • Carers assessments will be renamed carer support plans to describe them more effectively and to encourage uptake.
  • Young carers should have their wellbeing assessed within the GIRFEC framework and with consideration being given as to whether they require a Child’s Plan under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.
  • Young carers who are expected to continue their caring role beyond the age of 18 should have planning processes for their carers support plan begin well in  advance of their 18th birthday to ease transition to adult services.

A full copy of the proposals can be read on the Scottish Government website

Carers Trust and the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance will be consulting with carers and young carers to respond to each stage of consultation through to legislation.

Further information

Further information and resources on issues concerning young people in Scotland, including information on policy and research, are available on the Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People website.

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
Guidance

Supporting Carers in Primary Care

Approximately one in ten patients registered with a GP practice is likely to be a carer. Evidence shows that there’s a strong link between caring for someone and ill health. So it's important to identify carers and make sure they can access a range of support.
Area of Care: 
Primary Care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carers
I work with: 
Adult carersYoung adult carersYoung carers
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 10:45
Body: 

 

Supporting carers across primary care, from prescription pad to professional partnerships

Caring for someone is a major determinant of poor health

Approximately one in ten patients registered with a GP practice is likely to be a carer. Of these about a third will be caring for more than 20 hours per week, and a fifth caring for more than 50 hours per week. 

Evidence shows that there’s a strong link between PDF iconcaring for someone and ill health. As well as being at increased risk of exhaustion, depression, anxiety and stress, carers are more susceptible to physical injuries caused by incorrect or lone moving and handling. At the same time, many carers are older people and therefore more likely to have health conditions of their own or lack the stamina to cope with the demands of caring. 

"I’ve completely wrecked my back over the years moving my son. When he was little, it wasn’t so bad, but he’s 23 now and weighs over 14 stone. I have to stand behind the headboard and put my arms under his armpits to drag him up the bed. When the district nurse came round and saw what I did she was horrified." Carer.


Despite the strong like between unpaid caring and ill health, carers are often short of time and their attention may be focused almost exclusively on the needs of the person they care for. As a result, carers are less likely to find time to visit their GP practice when they are unwell or engage with services that can prevent ill health occurring. 

Some carers turn down the chance to have diagnostic tests or hospital treatment, particularly when they fear leaving the person they look after alone or without good quality support. And very few carers identify themselves as such to health and social care services with a view to accessing support.

“I’ve had this lump down below for a few months now, but with all that’s going on with mum at the moment, I’ve just not had time to get it checked.” Male carer.

Supporting Carers in General Practice: A quick-start toolkit for GP practice teams

If you work in General Practice, one in ten of your patients is likely to be a carer. Our quick-start toolkit offers you easy ways to indentify who your carers are and how to make sure they receive the support they need to prevent them reaching crisis point.  

Back to top of the page

What helps carers?

While every carer and caring situation is unique, when carers are asked what would make life easier for them, or what has been helpful to them in the past, certain themes emerge time and time again. For example, when NHS England consulted with carers as part of their Commitment to Carers in 2013, carers said:

  • Recognise me as a carer but also as a parent, partner, child, relative, friend and member of my local community.
  • Share information with me and with other health professionals.
  • Signpost me to information and help link professionals together.
  • Make sure care is flexible and available when it suits me and the person I care for.
  • Recognise that I may need help, not just as a carer but in looking after my own health and wellbeing.
  • Respect me and involve me as an expert partner in care.
  • Treat me with dignity and compassion.

Based on carers’ own words in NHS England’s & NHS Improving Quality’s Commitment to Carers 2014.

Back to top of the page

Supporting carers starts with recognition

Before carers can be offered support, they must first be identified. Because carers often accompany the person they care for to medical appointments or are present when community nurses make home visits to housebound patients, staff working in the NHS are ideally placed to identify them. 

In fact, many healthcare staff, including non-clinical staff working as receptionists in GP surgeries, already know which of their patients are carers. What’s more, carers often hold NHS staff in high regard, so a recommendation from a health professional is likely to be taken seriously and acted upon.  

Research suggests, however, that some people are deterred from engaging with carers because:

  • They are unclear about what kind of services are available to carers
    Staff wouldn’t be expected to have detailed information on carers services, but simply an overview of what’s typically available, such as the ones set out on this simple carers services flyer. 
  • They feel uncomfortable approaching carers in case they ‘say the wrong thing’
    Avoiding using the word ‘carer’ is advisable and asking a few exploratory questions instead is unlikely to cause offence. 
  • They fear it might lead to a much bigger conversation discussing topics on which they lack expertise 
    No-one would expect healthcare staff to have an in-depth knowledge of carers’ benefits and services. All they need to know is how a carer can get in touch with someone who does – usually via their local carers centre or scheme. Carers services will have leaflets you can hand out inviting carers to get in touch.
  • They don’t have enough time to talk to the carer 
    It’s best to be honest and explain to the carer that you don’t have much time to spare but that you know that there are people who not only have the time but also the expertise and hand them a leaflet from your local carers centre or scheme. 
  • Health professionals are respected by carers and ideally placed to help them​
    A significant number of carers say that it was only when a trusted healthcare professional suggested to them that they were a carer that they finally acknowledged the impact caring was having on their life. 

Some carers talk of a ‘light bulb moment’ when a nurse turned to them and said. “And how are you feeling? How is everything affecting you?” Similarly, people are often surprised to learn that there are services available to them, as carers, when so much of their time is spent arranging and co-ordinating services for the person they look after.

So the overriding message to healthcare professionals is that while displaying posters and leaflets inviting carers to self-identify can be helpful, the most effective way of identifying carers is through proactive engagement.

Back to top of the page

Further guidance

Carers Trust worked with the Royal College of GPs to develop a best practice guide - PDF iconSupporting carers - an action guide for general practitioners and their teams.

For further guidance on how to support carers in general practice – read the carers support page on the Royal College of General Practitioners website

For online resources on how nursing teams can support unpaid carers, visit The Queen's Nursing Institute Carers Project Resources section and the Royal College of Nursing's carers and families page.

Carers Trust has worked with the Department of Health and other partners to develop a new professional pathway which provides a framework for district and general practices nurses on which to develop new ways of working, strengthening partnership approaches and providing personalised health care for carers.  

Back to top of the page

Measuring impact 

The PDF iconAdult Carer Quality of Life Questionnaire, published by Carers Trust in association with the University of Nottingham, is a simple 40-item instrument which measures a carer’s quality of life in eight areas:

  • support for caring
  • caring choice
  • caring stress
  • money matters
  • personal growth
  • sense of value
  • ability to care
  • carer satisfaction.

It can be used on a one-off basis for the purpose of an assessment, or as a pre or post intervention tool to measure change and the impact of support.

The Carers Outcomes Star measures and supports progress for carers towards self-reliance or other goals. The Stars are designed to be completed collaboratively as an integral part of key work. It consists of a number of scales based on an explicit model of change which creates coherence across the whole tool and a star chart onto which the carer and support worker plot where the carer is on their journey. 

PDF iconHow to support carers is a self assessment tool developed by the Improvement and Development Agency. It measures how your local authority is doing in relation to developing an effective multi-agency approach to supporting carers. 

Back to top of the page

Share it: 
Protected: 
No
Type of Content: 
How-to Guide

Identifying carers

Carers are not a generic group, with common circumstances and problems. Staff should be trained and encouraged to avoid stereotypes.
Area of Care: 
Primary Care
Outcomes: 
PreventionWellbeingCarer awarenessIdentifying carers
I work in: 
Health carePrimary careHealth and wellbeingCarers servicesCarers involvementCarers breaksInformation and adviceCommissioning for carersCommissioning for young carersCommissioning
Location: 
England
Date Revised: 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 10:45
Body: 

Carers are not a generic group, with common circumstances and problems.

Avoid stereotypes

Staff should be trained and encouraged to avoid stereotypes. Carers can be young, can be parents, and can have learning difficulties and so on. 42% of carers are men and 18% of carers look after more than one person.

There may be more than one carer involved in looking after a particular patient. Each carer may have very different needs and views. They may even be in conflict with each other.

Mutual caring

There will often be ‘mutual caring’ arrangements. An elderly couple will often be carers of each other, as will an elderly parent with an adult child with a learning disability.

Sometimes the patient may not be keen on their carer being identified and classified as such, for various reasons.

The main, or only, carer may not necessarily be the next of kin.

The carer may be registered with a different practice. This, of course, does not stop the practice communicating information to that practice, with the permission of the carer.

You may also want to develop a system with your local carers centre whereby they let you know which of your patients are carers.

Joint working

There are various models of joint working between carers centres and primary care. Many projects use primary care link workers who work closely with individual practices. By contrast, other centres have worked more closely with community nurses rather than directly with GPs, and also find this to be very effective.

Once you’ve identified that a patient is a carer

  • Establish the level of caring commitment and support.
  • Gain consent from the carer to be recorded as carer.
  • Always ask the patient if they are happy for health information about them to be told to their carer. 
  • Develop a carers’ register by marking the personal record of those carers identified.
  • Give information to the carer about the range of support services that are available to them, both in the surgery and from outside agencies, especially the details of the local carers centre.
  • Carers should routinely be informed that they can ask their Local Authority for a carer’s assessment.
  • Give the carer appropriate information about the condition and health needs of the person they care for.
  • Give information to help them with regard to the kind of care they may be providing, such as administering medication, moving and handling, PEG feeding, supporting someone with a severe and enduring mental health condition.
Share it: 

Pages