Carers are vital to society and to the health and social care economy. The state
cannot afford to provide the current level of community care and health services
without this unpaid army of volunteers. It is therefore critical that support is provided
to carers to help to mitigate the sometimes negative impacts of caring, particularly
when it comes to managing their own health needs.
Not identifying and supporting carers will lead to an increased demand for
costly health and care services in the future.
In 2016, NHS England published its Integrated Approach to Identifying and
Assessing Carer Health and Wellbeing. This has impacted locally with a multi-
agency Memorandum of Understanding for carer support in Hillingdon. A multi-
agency Carers Strategy group has signed the MOU and oversees the Carers
Strategy Delivery Plan and reports annually to the Health and Wellbeing Board.
With good support for carers a requirement of the Care Quality Commission,
having arrangements for carer support in place can have a positive impact on
CQC reports, as well as making good economic sense.
Hillingdon has an extensive range of services for carers thanks to generous financial
support provided by the Council to the Hillingdon Carers Partnership, which has also
been very successful at bringing in new funding and resources.
This guide is intended to help primary care staff to: better understand the needs of
carers; recognise the benefits to identifying and supporting them; identify a few
simple steps that will improve the carer’s experience of primary care, and; inform
practice staff of the help that is available and how to access it.