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Carers' prescription

Carers in Cambridgeshire are able to access a new ‘carers prescription’ service which enables GPs to help carers get support when they need it.

Cambridgeshire has over 49,000 people who are carers and over 4,000 of these are often not in good health themselves. There are 16,000 new carers every year. One of the main problems is that people do not recognise that they are carers.

Why not take our simple test; Are you a Carer? (see Related Documents). 

If you answered YES to any of the questions you may be a carer, so let your GP know. Your doctor and surgery staff would like to know and help you get information about what assistance is available.

This service aims to ensure that carers are identified in the familiar local setting of their GP Practice, and that they can access the information and support they need to help prevent their caring role from affecting their own health and wellbeing.

Carers providing high levels of support are twice as likely to suffer poor health compared to non-carers, and this scheme enables GPs to fill in a Carers' Prescription. This will give a carer access to a break from caring, and at the same time will help connect them with the services that can offer them help and support to make their caring role easier.

The Carers' Prescription gives a carer access to a specialist worker at Crossroads Care Cambridgeshire, who will discuss what options are available to carers, support to access them, and provide an information pack. They will also help design a short break, giving carers the chance to decide what gives them a break. This could be a number of different things, from assistance going out with the person they care for to someone being with the person who is cared for whilst the carer does something else. The Prescription is available to all adult carers and young carers.

The Carers' Prescription service is being trialled by 22 Cambridgeshire GP practices in the first instance. The first six months have shown us that:

  • 74% of carers accessing the service care for 50+ hours per week, 93% for 20+ hours per week
  • 32% of prescriptions issued prevented a hospital admission 
  • 94% of carers said that information was most important to them and
  • 23% of carers who received prescriptions wanted access to information only
  • 80% more carers are known to surgeries since the service started

To get a Carers' Prescription you need to visit your GP who should register you as a carer on your medical notes so that they can support you appropriately in the future. 

GP Practices trialling the Carers' Prescription are:

Acorn; Bar Hill; Burwell; Charles Hicks Huntingdon; Chatteris; Jenner Whittlesey; Moat House Warboys; Nuffield Road Cambridge; Roman Gate Godmanchester; New Queen Street Whittlesey; Newnham Walk Cambridge; Papworth; Parkhall Somersham; Prioryfields; Hunts Rainbow Ramsey; Ramsey Health Centre; Spinney St Ives; Stanground Peterborough; The Old Exchange St Ives; Yaxley.