By telling your GP that you have taken on a caring role, your GP will be able to advise you on relevant support for you and the person you care for and give you priority for certain things such as vaccinations and try to be more flexible in terms of finding you appointments, etc.

Most surgeries can also refer you for helpful services, such as prescription home deliveries.

If your doctor and surgery know you are a carer they can:

  • provide some flexibility with appointment times, for both yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation.
  • support you with any physical health issues related to your caring role, like tiredness.
  • make you aware of the carer’s flu jab each year, or seasonal Covid-19 booster vaccinations.
  • talk to you about your mental health and the impact of your caring role.
  • provide you with general information and advice.
  • refer you to helpful organisations and services that can improve your caring situation.

Carers are at a much higher risk of becoming ill themselves and your GP can help keep you fit and well by recognising the effects caring can have on your health, such as depression, stress, high blood pressure or back pain. Make sure you take advantage of the free NHS health checks if you are eligible for one and if not discuss any health concerns with your GP.

Many carers are inclined to ignore symptoms because they cannot contemplate becoming ill themselves when they have caring responsibilities. It is important that you look after your own health and accept any treatment that you need as, ultimately, you cannot look after someone else without first looking after yourself.

Carers UK have some useful information about telling your GP that you are a carer.