A carer looks after a family member, friend, partner or neighbour who needs support due to illness, disability or old age. The help carers give is unpaid, though you may still receive Carer's Allowance or other benefits. Let your GP surgery know if you are a carer. They can then record this on your medical records.

If you're a carer, your GP could help provide information and advice on:

  • medical conditions of and treatments for the person you care for to help you feel more confident in your caring role.
  • services provided by the NHS such as continence services and patient transport to hospital appointments.
  • other sources of support and advice. This could include the social services department and local voluntary agencies.
  • arrange home visits to you or the person you care for if your caring responsibilities make it difficult to attend appointments at the surgery.
  • arrange 'double' appointments for both you and the person you care for at the same time to avoid having to visit the surgery twice.
  • arrange for repeat prescriptions to be delivered to your local pharmacy to save you picking them up.
  • provide supporting letters and information to enable you and the person you care for to access benefits (may be chargeable)

Young Carers

If you are aged 13-19 and you care for someone else, there are people who can support you and help you understand what you’re entitled to.

Sometimes, being a young carer can get too much to deal with on your own. Talk to your teacher, school nurse, college counsellor or GP if you're having any of these feelings:

  • feeling stressed by too much responsibility
  • feeling physically tired
  • feeling worried about your relative’s health
  • struggling to cope with other people’s mood
  • having no time for yourself or your homework
  • missing school
  • feeling embarrassed about your situation
  • being bullied
  • experiencing low self-esteem, anxiety, anger or guilt

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If you provide regular and substantial support to someone with mental health problems, you are entitled to an assessment of your own needs. CMHTs employ carers officers, who can help to arrange this – simply contact the team which is supporting the person you care for.

Helpful links for support, benefits and advice out there for Carers.

Support line: Carers UK telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact Carers UK online