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Fact sheet

Setting up Carer Information Points in GP Practices

How is the initiative run?
The Carer Support Worker attended a GP practice on the same day every week from 8.30am until 10.30 for four – five months. They set up an information point within the surgery to create a very visible presence.

Throughout the morning they were on hand to talk to carers about Carers Northumberland , to give carers information about how to access local services and offer emotional support. . A private room was always available for confidential one to one sessions where appropriate.

What methods have been particularly effective?
Jayne Povey, one of the Carer Support Workers working on this project said that running carer information points in practices also provided a good opportunity to create positive relationships with practice staff. She said she felt very much accepted as part of the GP staff team during her time there.

Have there been any challenges along the way?
No, this initiative was received well by practice staff and patients of the GP’s.

What hints and tips might help me get started?
If you offer a service like this to practices it is possible that you may experience some resistance. You should try to emphasise that running an initiative like this will cost their practice nothing at all – there is no labour or resources required from them but the impact can be significant for carers.

Jayne Povey mentioned that after a while she found people saw her as a regular presence after a few weeks running the information point. She wore her Carers Northumberland t-shirt every time she ran the stall and this really helped to boost her visibility, catch people’s interest and raise public awareness of the organisation.

Initially the practice gave her a separate room but she felt she was hidden away from carers and patients so, with permission from the practice manager she moved into the main entrance hall which meant that carers stopped to “chat” and find out more.

It is worth persevering if it initially seems “slow” as carers did say that they thought about approaching the info stand for several weeks before they actually “plucked up the courage” to come and speak with her.

Are there any useful documents that can assist me?
Carers Northumberland have made available their report on Supporting Carers in Primary Care. Also available is the Northumberland Health Check Final Evaluation Report which details the pilot project and learning following the delivery of the health checks to carers.

Carers Northumberland Report on Supporting Carers in Primary Care
(443 KB) (443 KB)

Northumberland Health Check Final Evaluation Report (1.4 MB) (1.4 MB)

Where can I get further information?
Jayne Povey
Carers Northumberland
Tanners House
20 Gilesgate
NE46 3QD
Tel: 01434 608033

When was this information collected?
April 2012