A carer is a person who voluntarily cares, unpaid, for someone who cannot manage without their support due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction.

Carers often do not recognise themselves as carers and therefore may fail to seek support. Early information and support are key to preventing carer break down. Staff working in a primary care setting are in an ideal position to offer this. The earlier a carer is identified and supported, the more likely crisis situations can be prevented, for carers and the people they care for.

Signposting for carers

The carers information service provided by the local authority is a useful resource for all carers. It’s free to join and many carers find having a contact for support is very valuable.

If the cared for person lives in Dorset Council area, please contact Carer Support Dorset.

Phone: 0800 368 8349
Email: admin@carersupportdorset.co.uk
Website: www.carersupportdorset.co.uk

If the cared for person lives in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council area, please contact CRISP (Carers Resource Information Support Programme).

Phone: 01202 458204
Email: carersupport@bcpcouncil.gov.uk
Website: www.crispweb.org

Both local authorities in Dorset offer carers discount cards and other support services. For information on these and what discounts are available please contact the above organisations or look at the carers card discount list.

Let your GP surgery know you care for someone

GP surgeries keep registers of their patients who are also carers. This can help staff better look after their patient’s needs, often offering flexibility with appointments and additional support, for example vaccination reminders.

Most GP practices in Dorset are working towards becoming carer friendly practices via the guidelines set out by the NHS England and improvement and innovation, quality markers for primary care.

This is an annual declaration for GP practices to highlight the good work they are doing to support carers and to also look at what else they can do to improve for next year. The NHS England framework of quality markers was developed with Carers Trust, Carers UK and The Children’s Society and is Care Quality Commission (CQC) supported.

Practical guide for caring

The NHS alongside Public Health England and a number of carer voluntary organisations have developed a practical guide for caring, particularly for people new to caring responsibilities.

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014, highlights GP practices as having a key role in maintaining carer health and wellbeing. The Act also covers equality for carers, and ensures carers have access to an assessment of need in their own right. This is often called a Carers Assessment – a personalised holistic assessment to ensure the carer’s needs are identified, supported and recorded. For more information regarding a carers assessment, contact your carers information service (detailed above).

Children and Families Act 2014

This Act clearly sets out legislation for young carers, young adult carers and their families. It states that children’s and adult’s services must work together, alongside other organisations, to proactively identify and support young carers in a timely and age-appropriate way.