The latest figures recorded show that there are 59,240* unpaid carers registered with their local GP Practice in the Warwickshire area, 11% of the Warwickshire population. By 2021 the number is expected to rise to 64,120, with the majority of these aged 65 years and over.
However, it is believed that this number is much higher and it is reported that over 108,000 people will provide some sort of caring role but are not registered as carers with their GP.
Carers Week, which runs from 11-17 June, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
This year, NHS Warwickshire North and South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are also encouraging people to make sure they register as a carer at their local GP practice. By letting their practice know they care for someone, they and those they care for can be provided with information on how to access the local help and support available including support to help look after their own health as well as those they care for.
With the access to additional support and information, this can help carers to stay healthy and connected; building communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with health and wellbeing needs of their own.
There are different types of help and support available to carers. Once you are registered as a carer with your GP, you will receive a carers information pack, within this is a form to complete and you will be referred to the Carer’s Trust.
Dr Karen Clarke, a local GP and Member Practice Representative at NHS South Warwickshire CCG, said:
“It’s important to remember that the best way to support the person that you’re caring for is to keep yourself fit and healthy. Your GP can give you advice on how you can stay well and help to connect you to other useful carer support services and sources of information.”
“Caring for a loved one can be hard, but by registering with the Carer's Register at your GP surgery, you can access more information and support.”
Jo Galloway, Chief Nursing Officer, NHS Warwickshire North CCG, said:
“Carers provide a vital lifeline to the people they care for and we want to help them by making sure they have the support and information they need. By registering as a carer with their GP they will have access to the services and support they need to help keep them well as well as those they care for.”
For more information on support available in the Warwickshire area visit:
https://www.carerstrusthofe.org.uk/warwickshire-carer-wellbeing-service/ or www.warwickshire.gov.uk/carers
Local support is also available for young carers, visit http://www.warwickshireyoungcarers.org.uk/
More details about Carers Week can be found at www.carersweek.org.
*Data from Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing http://hwb.warwickshire.gov.uk/2016/04/19/carers-jsna-needs-assessment/