GP and health Services

Your GP (General Practitioner) and primary care team can provide you with invaluable support, advice and information.
Tell your GP that you have caring responsibilities as soon as possible,
they can then record this on your medical records. Alternatively, call our contact team and we can inform you GP on your behalf.

If they know you are a carer and likely to be under pressure at times, they will be able to offer more tailored advice and, if necessary, provide more support when they diagnose and treat you in the future. GPs in England are being urged to adopt new measures dedicated to ensuring young carers are offered flu vaccinations, regular health check ups and mental health screening routinely. We hope this initiative will also be extended more widely in the UK and to adult carers. You could ask your GP or local practice for more information.

If you’re a carer, your GP could help

  • Provide information and advice on:
    • medical conditions of and treatments for the person you care for to help you feel more confident in your caring role.
    • services provided by the NHS such as continence services and patient transport to hospital appointments.
    • other sources of support and advice. This could include the social services department and local voluntary agencies.
  • Arrange home visits to you or the person you care for if your caring responsibilities make it difficult to attend appointments at the surgery.
  • Arrange ‘double’ appointments for both you and the person you care for at the same time to avoid having to visit the surgery twice.
  • Arrange for repeat prescriptions to be delivered to your local pharmacy to save you picking them up.
  • Provide supporting letters and information to enable you and the person you care for to access benefits such as Attendance Allowance or a blue badge scheme.

Health check-ups and free flu jab

Life can become very hectic especially if you have lots of caring responsbilities, but it’s important not to neglect your own health needs. Attending appointments, check-ups and screenings is vital for yourself as well as any loved ones.

If you have not seen your GP for some time, why not arrange a health check? This is likely to involve checking your blood pressure, weight and urine as well as a general discussion about your health. As a carer you are also entitled to a free seasonal flu jab.

Social Prescribing

Social Prescribers are embedded within Primary Care Networks to empower people to take control of their health and wellbeing by giving time to focus on ‘what matters to me’ and building trusting relationships with people to create a shared personalised care and support plan, connecting them to local, diverse and culturally appropriate community groups, VCSE organisations and services.

This service engages people to work on their wider health and wellbeing, such as debt, poor housing and physical inactivity, as well as other lifestyle issues and low-level mental health concerns by increasing people’s active involvement with their local communities.

Carers Passport:

The Carer Passport Scheme is a recent scheme set up by South Tyneside and Sunderland Foundation Trust. This scheme aims to identify and support carers who wish to continue any aspects of their caring role whilst the person they care for is in hospital. A Carer Passport can be issued following a discussion with the ward manager or nurse in charge of the ward. A Carer Partnership Agreement will outline how the carer will continue to support the person they care for during their inpatient stay. If you would like further information about the Carer Passport Scheme please email Susan Clark, Patient Experience Team at