Carers Advice

An estimated 1 in 8 people in Scotland are unpaid carers. This translates to around 14% of registered patients who could be unpaid carers and as many as 10% of them may be young carers. It is estimated their work saves health and social care services £10.3bn each year.

"A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their regular and substantial help due to disability, physical or mental illness or addiction."

Carers usually don’t choose to become carers and often do not consider themselves as such. Instead, they see themselves as responding to family circumstances and doing what they can to support someone they care about, often saying “I just have to get on with it, if I didn’t then who would?”.

Many of these people do not receive support or recognition of their crucial role. Without support, carers can suffer from stress, mental ill-health, back problems due to lifting, sleep problems, financial problems due to not being able to work, lack of time for themselves and a tendency to neglect their own health issues.

There are a number of organisations and services available, set up especially to recognise, support, train and advise carers of all ages. Their aim is to make sure that the needs of carers are not forgotten about. 

Essential Contacts List for Carers

The Practice is also dedicated to recognising the contribution of carers, and making sure we support them in any way we can.

For example,

  • all unpaid carers are entitled to receive the flu vaccination for free from the Health Board every year
  • if they are not reviewed on an annual basis for a pre-existing long term condition, they are also welcome to make an appointment with one of our practice nurses for an annual health check
  • they can also request to be referred to social work for a carers assessment in order to review their role and needs as a carer.

The clinical records of all our unpaid carers are flagged as such, so if you think you fall under the definition of an unpaid carer, the first step is to let us know. You can either let your doctor or nurse know that you are an unpaid carer the next time you have an appointment with us, or you can complete the form linked at the bottom of the page. Your medical records will be updated with this information so that it can be recognised and considered in any future consultations: