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Primary care

Unpaid carers' access to and use of primary care services

General medical practitioners (GPs) and members of the primary care team have a pivotal role in supporting unpaid carers in their caring role and helping them to maintain their own health and well-being. This paper investigates the difference that caregiving makes to individuals’ access to and use of GP and primary care services. It is based on longitudinal analysis of carers’ contacts with GPs, and a review of the literature including evaluations of measures to improve primary-care-based support for carers. Men increase their consultation rates with GPs when taking on a caring role.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

Keeping carers healthy: the role of community nurses and colleagues

Carers form a substantial proportion of the patients seen by primary care professionals, but their health needs are often overlooked. By recognizing and addressing the needs of the carer as well as the patient, primary care staff (including practice, community and district nurses) can protect the physical and mental health of both. Staff can start by developing simple systems for identifying and recording both patients who are carers, and patients who have carers. Primary health professionals may be able to identify specific opportunities for checking on carers’ health, e.g.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

Family carers' accounts of general practice contacts for their relatives with early signs of dementia

The role of families in supporting people with dementia is widely acknowledged in literature and UK government policy. The role of general practice in ensuring early and effective support for people living with mental health problems including dementia is also enshrined in UK policy. As part of a larger study, a total of 122 carers were asked to rate predefined aspects of the primary care response. For some responses they were also asked to provide a reason for their rating.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15

Transitions at the end of life for older adults: patient, carer and professional perspectives : a mixed-methods study

Background: The end of life may be a time of high service utilisation for older adults. Transitions between care settings occur frequently, but may produce little improvement in symptom control or quality of life for patients. Ensuring that patients experience co-ordinated care, and moves occur because of individual needs rather than system imperatives, is crucial to patients’ well-being and to containing health-care costs.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15

Meeting carers' information needs

Unpaid carers provide the backbone for community care, supplying the everyday support and care to users which paid carers would otherwise have to provide. There is increasing political awareness about the need to support carers if the rhetoric of community care is to be a reality. Both research and policy documents emphasise the carer's need for information. Carers see the Primary Health Care Team as being pivotal in providing them with advice, support and information. This paper describes a study to identify carers in a general practice and to provide them with information.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:14

Supporting family carers in the community setting

The author examines the pressures that may be experienced by carers in the community and discusses ways in which nurses can help to address these problems. 

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:13

Autistic spectrum disorders toolkit

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects at least 1% of the population. There is an urgent need to improve healthcare of people with autism. Research shows that autistic people die on average 16 years earlier than the general population and this increases if they also have learning disabilities. This Autism Toolkit aims to be a 'one stop shop', a user-friendly guide to autism for primary care professionals, people affected by autism, clinical commissioning groups, as well as interested members of the general public.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

Developing a joint mental health strategy for elders

Reports on the development of a joint mental health strategy for older people in a central London Borough. The project brought together clinicians and practitioners from a variety of settings, the voluntary sector, and users and carers. The aim of the project was to develop a shared philosophy of care based on promoting independence and from this to identify the components of a spectrum of care that would meet the wide range of needs of elders with mental ill health. The borough had high levels of deprivation, unemployment and poor housing.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

How do people with cancer wish to be cared for in primary care? Serial discussion groups of patients and carers

Background. In most economically developed countries, patients, their informal and professional carers and policy makers are calling for more care in the community.

Objectives. To involve patients with cancer, and their carers, in designing a framework for providing effective cancer care in primary care.

Methods. Two discussion groups comprising 18 people with current cancer and carers met monthly over a year in the south of Scotland.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10