Carers Trust,Â The Royal College of General PractitionersÂ (RCGP), andÂ Carers UKÂ are calling for nominations for theÂ Caring About Carers AwardsÂ that recognise the work of GPs and GP practices in supporting unpaid carers across the UK.
Around one in ten patients in every GP practice is estimated to care for a relative or friend who is sick, disabled, or frail.Â While attention is focused on supporting the needs of the person being cared for, a carerâ€™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.
About the awards
TheÂ Caring About Carers AwardsÂ are now in its fourth year and carers who feel that they have been helped and supported by their GP or GP practice are encouraged to nominate. With Carers Week running this week, it is a perfect time for carers to be nominating their GPs and GP practices for an award.Â This yearâ€™s Carers Week theme is â€˜Prepared to Care?â€™ and focuses on how support from professionals and services can help carers to prepare for caring. Nominating a great GP would help to highlight how NHS and social care professionals can make a real difference to carersâ€™ lives.
The RCGP and Carers Trust have been working together for a number of years and in 2011 were joined by Carers UK on a new Supporting Carers in Primary Care programme. Funded by the Department of Health, this programme aims to find and develop new ways of helping GPs and their practice staff to identify and support carers and refer them to local services.
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 carersâ€™ lives.
The closing date for entries isÂ 31 July 2013.
Small changes can make a big difference
Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP said: â€œAs the largest source of care and support in the UK, it is in everyoneâ€™s interest that carers are well supported. I would like to encourage every carer who has been supported by their GP to write in and tell us how they are being helped. Even small changes to the way GP practices work can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of carers and we want to share ideas for good practice around the UK to ensure every GP is championing carers health.â€
Our Chief Executive, Thea Stein, said: â€˜â€˜GPs are one of the key groups who have regular contact with carers and they play a vital role in making sure that carers get the support they need so they are able toÂ continue in their caring role. By taking care of carers, GPs are also protecting the health of the person they are caring for.â€
Nominations can be made by emailÂ email@example.com
or by writing to:Caring About Carers Award 2013 The Royal College of General Practitioners 30 Euston Square London NW1 2FB
Carers are asked to include in their nomination:
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45