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. at general health checks or clinics for older people or those with chronic diseases. Community nurses should ensure that they use their home visits to keep an eye on the health of the carer as well as the patient. Much of this input can be integrated into the everyday activities and priorities of the primary care team.