Does your GP know you are a carer?

Knowsley Carers Centre works closely with GP practices across the borough to try to identify hidden carers; people who may be struggling on without the support they need to help them in their caring role. If you inform staff at your GP practice that you are looking after someone they will be able to record this information so that your GP and other health and social care staff will know about your caring role. Health and social care staff will want to make sure that looking after someone doesn't have an adverse impact on your health. Often when people are caring for someone, they struggle to look after their own needs such as making sure that they attend medical appointments or screening offered to prevent illness. People who tell their practice about their caring role may be asked if they would like a member of staff to contact Knowsley Carers Centre on their behalf. Having received a referral from the practice a support worker from Knowsley Carers Centre will contact the carer within 72 hours.

Many practices have identified a member of staff as a carer link; someone who can keep in touch with the Carers Centre and will try their best to keep carers and the issues they face high on the agenda in the practice. It makes sense for GP practice staff to ensure that carers are well supported because of the valuable role that carers play. When practice staff are aware of someone's caring role they may be able to afford some flexibility about appointment times. If you are having difficulty getting to a medical appointment because of your caring role it may be that using Knowsley Carers Centre Voucher Scheme could also help.