Non-urgent advice: We are trying to update our Carers Register

So we have a clearer idea of who is providing care.

Who is considered a carer?

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.

Many carers don’t see themselves as carers and it takes them an average of two years to acknowledge their role as a carer (NHS website: Understanding Carers).

It can be difficult for carers to see their caring role as separate from the relationship they have with the person for whom they care, whether that relationship is as a parent, child, sibling, partner, or a friend.

It’s likely that every one of us will have caring responsibilities at some time in our lives with the challenges faced by carers taking many forms. Many carers juggle their caring responsibilities with work, study and other family commitments. Some, in particular younger carers, are not known to be carers. They don’t tell relatives, friends or health and care professionals about their responsibilities because of a fear of separation, guilt, pride or other reasons.

This means that the sort of roles and responsibilities that carers have to provide varies widely. They can range from help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed and personal care such as bathing, to emotional support such as helping someone cope with the symptoms of a mental illness.

The Department of Health’s mandate to NHS England includes ensuring that the NHS becomes dramatically better at involving carers as well as patients in care. The importance of carers is noted in the NHS Five Year Forward View which notes that to support carers properly we need to have multi-agency and community integration (Five Year Forward View, Oct 2014). NHS commissioning » Who is considered a carer? (

Please tell us on your next appointment,  or at any time if you have caring responsibilities- this can mean that you get flu and other vaccinations , and that everyone in the surgery is mindful of this when it comes to booking appointments and considering your needs generally.

There is some useful local information links here- 

What the service offers

Individuals will be offered an appointment with a Social Prescribing Coordinator who will conduct an in-depth needs assessment and then facilitate activate participation in local community based services, e.g. lunch clubs, gardening groups, benefits advice, exercise groups for the following groups of patients

  • Socially isolated  
  • Frequent attenders to GP/A+E  
  • Presenting with a social problem  
  • Mild-moderate mental health problems 
  • Keen to participate in non-clinical activities but not aware of what’s happening locally 
  • People with any long term condition

Useful Links

Carers UK 

The Carents Room – for people supporting elderly parents

Government Information for Carers 

Benefits for Carers 

Age UK East London – Hackney I&A
22 Dalston Lane, London, E8 3AZ
Tel: 020 7249 7149
Opening hours: Telephone Mon-Fri 9.30-5.30; Drop-in Mon/Tues/Thurs 10-1, Tues 2-4

There is a wealth of information on the NHS website about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.

Finance and Law

Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.

  • Benefits for carers
    Directing carers to the benefits that can help them in their caring role
  • Benefits for the under-65s
    Advice and information on helping the person you look after get the benefits that they are entitled to.
  • Benefits for the over-65s
    Advice and information on financial support for older people with a disability or illness.
  • Carer’s Assessment
    How your benefits maybe affected after the death of the person you look after and what happens to their benefits
  • Other benefits
    Advice for carers and the people they are looking after on claiming a whole host of other benefits unrelated to their disability or caring

Contact Carers Direct

Telephone: 0808 802 0202

Helpline Information:

Email: [email protected]

Office Hours: Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.