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Carer-centred care: general practice support to family caregivers

Michelle Pyer, Jackie Campbell, Alison Ward


Rationale, aims and objectives

In February 2009 the UK’s Department of Health invited bids for funding to host demonstrator sites in order to test new approaches to working with and for carers within the national Carers’ Strategy [1; 2]. This paper discusses some of the findings of the local level evaluation of one of the host sites, situated in Northamptonshire.



A mixed-method approach was used to gather data from a range of participant groups. This paper presents the findings of two of those methods; a postal survey of carers and an audit of support offered by general practices.



The findings of the evaluation show a considerable improvement in the extent to which carers’ roles were identified by their surgeries, however there is a need to ensure that this information is recorded and used in ways which benefit carers. Carers noted challenges in dealing with practice staff, particularly administrative staff who were not aware of their needs. Practices noted a range of services which were offered to carers, however carers were not always aware that these were available, suggesting that further publication of these opportunities is needed.



The paper argues the importance of the role undertaken by carers, and signals the range of ways in which General Practice can support or inhibit these activities.

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