Background. Community care of elderly and disabled people is increasing. Primary care teams are expected to provide support to the informal carers essential for its success.
Objective. To explore district nurse (DN) views about roles of the primary care team and what is needed for support of informal carers.
Method. A qualitative analysis of open-ended questions contained in a larger postal questionnaire.
Results. DNs viewed improved respite care, general support and information provision as priorities for supporting carers, and lack of resources and access as the main reasons why they could not be more active. They thought other team members might be better placed to take that role. GPs were seen as key members of the primary care team providing services, actively identifying carers and co-ordinating other services and team members.
Conclusion. DNs identified several areas of support for carers that could be improved: respite, information provision and general support services. They did not feel able to be pro-active in support of informal carers themselves and viewed the GP in that role as a central co-ordinator of care and services.