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Informal carers and the primary care team

The number of carers in the community is rising, and the importance of general practice in providing supportfor them has been highlighted. Caring for a disabled friend or relative has been shown to be harmful to the health of the caregiver and changes in social and family structure have led carers to become isolated and more reliant on the formal support services. However, many carersfeel that GPs do not understand their needs, and in turn many GPs and nursesfeel that they lack the relevant resources and training to take a more proactive role. The shift from hospital to community-based care and the blurring of social roles of responsibility puts additional pressure on the carers and community services. However general practice is in the best position to help and there are many things that can be done by primary care teams, such as providing information about available support, benefits and local services, which would be appreciated by informal carers.

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British Journal of General Practice
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