This report presents a series of recommendations for Government and Strategic Health Authorities, Primary Care Trusts, GPs and Primary Health Care Teams, with the aim of improving the way primary care services identify and support carers. The recommendations are based on conclusions which emerged from a nine-month primary care project for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. The project aimed to find the most effective ways within primary care to identify carers and encourage them to use the services available. The project findings are the results of a mapping exercise of 36 existing and completed primary care support initiatives across The Princess Royal Trust for Carers network in England and Northern Ireland and a survey of carers conducted through a postal questionnaire sent to carers, as well as four focus group discussions with carers. The mapping exercise and survey have also enabled a review of good practice in the work of identifying and supporting carers in primary care and a further review of examples of best practice.
The results of the research will be used to inform the development of a number of The Trust’s carer support demonstration projects in primary care. A Good Practice Guide will also be produced to act as a toolkit for primary care project work by Carers’ Centres within The Trust’s network. This report covers the following: • Context of the project: carers and the caring relationship, legislation and guidance to provide support to carers and the role of primary care. • Summary results of the mapping of primary care projects in The Princess Royal Trust for Carers network.• Analysis of a survey of carers and related extracts from focus group discussions from four areas where there is an existing primary care project. • Review of good practice in identifying and supporting carers. • Recommendations in the form of checklists for GPs and Primary Health Care Teams, for Primary Care Trusts and for the Government and Strategic Health Authorities