GP Practices

GP practices are often the first point of contact for many carers. Carers Support Centre has a dedicated team which works with GP practices to help identify and support carers.

Make a referral to us
How Carers Support Centre works with GP practices
Checklist for health professionals
Carer surgeries
How to identify carers
Information packs for carers
GP Link volunteers
Checklists to use with ‘end of life’ carers
Community support organisations, helplines and directories

How Carers Support Centre works with GP practices
We can:

  • Conduct an audit of your current services for carers
  • Provide best practice resources and templates to improve your services for carers
  • Provide carer awareness training for your staff
  • Recruit a GP Link Volunteer for your practice to help support carers.
  • Carry out Carers Assessments for patients who are carers, which can result in carers getting a break from caring
  • Provide information materials for carers including leaflets, posters, information for your practice leaflet, website or digital display screen.
  • Run advice and support clinics for carers at your GP practice.

Checklist for health professionals

  1. If you only have time to do one thing, print them off the carer information prescription below.


If you feel they are unlikely to seek help for themselves, refer or suggest the carer rings CarersLine on 0117 965 2200 or email for up to date information and advice on local services or emotional and practical support.

  1. If you judge the carer’s needs as high risk and they care for an adult:

In Bristol, refer them to Adult Social Care:
0117 922 2700

In South Gloucestershire, refer them to Adult Care Customer Services:
01454 868 007
SMS Text Service: 07950 080 111 Textphone: 01454 868 010

Or if they care for a child, refer them to the First Response Team (Bristol) on:
0117 903 6444

In South Gloucestershire, refer them to the Access and Response Team (ART) on:
01454 866 000 if out of hours please use 01454 615 165

3. Help the carer to recognise themselves as a carer. Tell them as a carer they:

  • Should add themselves to your Practice Carer Register.
  • Are eligible for a free flu injection each autumn.
  • Can ask for flexible appointments at your surgery if caring prevents them from attending otherwise.
  • Should keep a check on their health and wellbeing and make an appointment with their GP if they feel they are not coping or are unwell.
  • May be eligible for a Carers Assessment from their local authority.4. If the patient is / is supported by a young carer, print them off a young carer practice leaflet below.


Carers surgeries
Carer surgeries are monthly one-to-one information, advice and support clinics for carers, provided by our Carers Support Officers. The GP practice provides the room and takes responsibility for identifying carers and booking them in for appointments. To find out more, contact one of our liaison workers.
A carer surgery gives:

  • Support to access appropriate children or adult care services
  • Carers assessments, which may result in a direct payment to take a break from caring
  • A disability and carer benefits check
  • Links to appropriate emotional support
  • Information on Carers Emergency Card.
  • Advice about staying in, or returning to, employment
  • A chance to talk about how caring is affecting them and be recognised as an equal partner in care.

How to identify carers
GP surgeries are usually the first place that carers have contact with the NHS. And staff are well placed to recognise that someone is, or is about to become, a carer.  With your help we hope to find ‘hidden carers’ and promote the uptake of the carer services available.
Good ways of identifying carers are:

  • Have a carers’ notice board
  • Keep a display of Carers News in reception
  • Use the digital display template in reception
  • Use carers’ identification/consent forms and keep a carers’ register
  • Use the EMIS flowchart and EMIS web guide to coding letters
  • Join our GP Link volunteer scheme
  • Use annual flu clinics

Digital display
You can add your own practice details to this template for your digital display board. Please note: An updated version of the digital display is currently in development and will be added to the website at a later date.

Carers register
A carers’ register is a database which enables GP practices to identify carers and those being cared for. Use this template form to record details of carers and to get their consent to refer them to CarersLine, our support and advice line.


Display this leaflet in reception. It has a tear off slip which can be handed in to reception, so that a carer can be added to your carers register. You can order copies through one of our GP carer liaison workers.

Registers can be used to:

  • Ensure that appointments are accessible to carers who would otherwise struggle to attend due to their caring role.
  • Where appropriate, support the sharing of medical information of a cared for persons’ condition to allow the carer to effectively manage their health and social care needs at home.
  • Provide effective information about and signposting to carers support services
    raise awareness with GP and practice staff that someone is a carer for consideration during consultations.
  • Ensure that outpatient appointments and admission letters give information that the patient is a carer.

EMIS flowchart
Here at Carers Support Centre we aim to share good practice when working with carers.  Priory Road Surgery developed this excellent flowchart to help administrative staff understand the processes on EMIS to register a carer and record all pertinent information.  Please feel free to share this with your team.

GP Link volunteers
Carers Support Centre has developed a GP Link volunteer project, where a GP practice gains a team member with a discrete role. This is a 3-way partnership between a practice, volunteer and Carers Support Centre. Each partner has a clearly defined set of responsibilities. Carers Support Centre recruits, trains and supports volunteers. Volunteers are based at and liaise with a GP practice and proactively identify, inform and support carers who attend that surgery.

The GP Link volunteer role aims to support practices to identify by:

  • Keeping practice information and resources relating to carers up to date, maintaining a regular presence within a GP practice in order to raise awareness of and proactively identify carers within the patient population and staff team.
  • Offering information to carers on local support services and referring to Carers Support Centre for follow up where necessary.

To find out how your practice can get a GP link volunteer contact your liaison worker.


Flu clinics
Flu clinics in GP practices provide a good way of identifying and supporting previously ‘hidden’ or unknown carers. Department of Health guidance has identified carers as a target group to receive the flu vaccination.

Information packs for carers
When a new patient registers as a carer, we recommend you give them a carers pack, which can help to sign post them to support. You may find these leaflets useful, and can tailor them to suit your needs.


You can also order copies of our services leaflet through your liaison worker (however, the easy read version is only available as a PDF).

Information for young carers

Information in community languages:
see the right-hand sidebar on this page.

Checklists to use with ‘end of life’ carers
Our experience suggests that carers are often left out of end of life care discussions, despite their involvement on a day-to-day level.  We have produced two checklists, one for carers and one for GPs, to make sure that carers have the information they need. They are designed to be used together.

The carers’ checklist includes, for example, talking to the person they care for about the care they would like; and knowing where they would like to be when they die. The GPs’ checklist includes prompts to make sure carers understand what is happening and what to expect; and to signpost them to organisations who can give support.