Carers support

A carer is a person of any age, adult or child, who provides unpaid support to a partner, child, relative or friend who couldn't manage to live independently or whose health or wellbeing would deteriorate without this help. This could be due to frailty, disability or serious health condition, mental ill health or substance misuse.

Did you know?

That 1.2 million carers spend over 50 hours caring for others, this equates to a full-time workforce larger than the entire NHS.

Carers are estimated to save the UK economy £119 billion a year in care costs, this is equivalent to £18,473 per year for every carer in the UK.

Carers Week Quest

Carers UK, in collaboration with RCGP and Carers Trust, have produced two resources for GP practices for the Carers Week Quest. The Carers Week Quest is an initiative designed to improve collaborative working in local communities on the issue of carers. You can download the documents to use in your practice, or make a pledge on the Carers Week website.

Find out more about the Carers Week Quest

GP Surgery Checklist [PDF]

Guide for GP Practices [PDF] 

Commissioning for Carers Guide

RCGP have developed a guide for commissioners on the importance of identifying and supporting carers. The guide is available to download as an interactive PDF.

Training DVD for GPs and practice teams

This resource enables training on supporting carers to be fitted around work and other commitments by providing an interactive experience that can be used within practice team meetings. The DVD won highly commended in the 2013 BMA Medical Book Awards' digital and online resources category and there are over 2000 copies already in use.

Due to the success of the DVD the content has now been transferred onto the RCGP Online Learning Environment. 

Access the DVD 

How GP practices can improve carer identification and support

RCGP invited applications from general practices around the country to describe their journeys towards improved carer identification and support. This report collates the information provided by these exemplar practices. A number of common themes emerged, together with some innovative ideas and practical guidance on ways that practices can improve the services that they offer to their carers.

GP Champions for Carers

RCGP has a number of GP Champions based around England who can offer in-depth knowledge and expertise in supporting and identifying carers.

Please email to see if you have a GP Champion working in your area.

Supporting Carers Action Guide

The revised edition of the 'Supporting carers action guide' for 2011 offers an overview of how practices can support carers within their practice, along with up-to-date policy and good practice examples.

Supporting Carers e-Learning Programme

A free e-Learning programme to help GPs and primary care teams better support carers. Six interactive educational sessions designed for health and social care professionals, each taking around 20 minutes to complete.

This e-Learning will be available on the RCGP Online Learning Environment in November.

Involving and Supporting Carers and Families

This new educational resource will help GPs, GP trainees, primary care nurses and other team members improve their skills in providing support for the wide range of people who care for others. It contains an educational framework that will help programme directors, trainers and other educators develop their own carer-related training, such as tutorials, workshops, courses and other learning resources about carers. It contains recommended key messages and themes, together with case illustrations and other practical information.

Caring About Carers Awards

These annual awards are run by the RCGP in partnership with the Carers’ Trust and Carers UK. Patients and carers who feel that they have been helped and supported by their GP or GP practice are encouraged to nominate.

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 carers’ lives.

Five ways GPs can make a difference

A message from Clare Gerada, former Chairperson of the Royal College of GPs on five simple ways GPs can make a difference for carers.

Further resources to help support carers

Contact us

For further information contact


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