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Fact sheet

Carers in Practice - RCGP

A revised second edition of the best practice guide ‘Supporting Carers: An action guide for general practitioners and their teams’ has been released by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The guide provides invaluable information on: the need to identify and support carers; and how to best achieve this.

This toolkit is designed so that Primary Care Teams can measure themselves against agreed criteria for the services they provide for patients and their carers, particularly focusing on teamwork and practice organisation.

You can download the newly available guide below: (3.7 MB)

Why support carers? More information here

To submit examples of best practice please email

The following two leaflets have also been developed by the partnership and are available to download below. The first is for GPs, the second for carers themselves. Please print off and distribute in your surgery as appropriate:

Carers as Partners (leaflet for GPs) (557 KB)
Carers in Practice (leaflet for carers) (642 KB)

Message from Nigel Sparrow, Chairman of the Professional Development Board, RCGP

Nigel Sparrow, Vice Chair of the Royal College of General PractitionersWhile there is usually much sympathy and concern for a patient, there is often little acknowledgement or appreciation for the person caring for them.

Within time, the stresses of looking after someone day in, day out, make it likely that carers will themselves become patients and increasingly will come to rely on their GP. Currently, caring has an adverse impact on the health of 80 per cent of carers and ten per cent of GP patients are those with caring responsibilities.

As many as 200 patient carers could be registered with each GP practice, so family doctors are ideally placed to contribute towards providing a better deal for carers and ensuring that they and the people they care for receive the highest quality care.

Crucially, doctors need to encourage vulnerable carers to take ownership of their health needs. To do this we need to improve the level of communication between primary care teams and patients who are carers and to standardise this across the 11,000 GP practices in the UK.

With this aim in mind, the RCGP is working with the The Trust in the Carers in Practice partnership.

The partnership has already produced two checklists for carers and GPs, and in October will launch a guide for GP practices with practical advice on how family doctors can best support carers.

The RCGP is delighted to be working with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers on such an important initiative and our members will work vigorously to support the work and needs of the nation’s carers and give them the recognition – and healthcare – they deserve.

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