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Young carers

The editorial on child maltreatment in the September issue of the BJGP prompted me to think again about young carers. It talked about the fact that many maltreated and vulnerable children do not have an administratively competent carer and that often parents have health issues such as alcohol misuse or physical or mental health problems that can affect their children. In general practice it is not uncommon for us to see the parents but not see the young people themselves. However, young carers are at risk of social isolation and bullying, under-achievement, absenteeism from school, and physical and mental ill health. Having a holistic approach to family medicine should include supporting the young people in their caring role. We can do this by explaining to parents we are happy to support their children too. We can also signpost them to useful websites like or local groups for young carers that can provide youth worker support, youth clubs and days out depending on the area. Perhaps I can set a challenge to GP’s reading this and suggest a way to double their CPD points? Find out what is available in your area to support young carers and next time you see a patient with health issues who has children at home think also about what support their children may need.

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The British Journal Of General Practice: The Journal Of The Royal College Of General Practitioners

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Royal college of general practitioners
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