Page updated: 20 May 2010

Help from your general practitioner (GP)

As a carer it is important to look after yourself, but it is all too easy to neglect your own health when you are caring for someone else.  Caring can affect you physically and it can also affect you mentally.  Common conditions include a bad back, tiredness and stress and anxiety, which can sometimes lead to depression. 

You should contact your GP if you feel stressed or unwell as a result of your caring role.  There is a lot that your GP team can do to support you. 

Make sure they know you are a carer.  Ask to have your notes tagged so when you need to see your GP or a member of the team, they will remember the extra responsibilities you have.

Your surgery will have a carer register.  Make sure you are listed on the register so that when special services or support are introduced they know to contact you.

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Find out if your surgery operates a flexible appointment service for carers, home visits or a repeat prescription service.  If you can think of other ways that the surgery could help you, do ask.  GP teams are keen to support carers however they can.

Some surgeries are able to run group support sessions for carers.  Whilst the idea of going along to a group session to talk about your situation can feel daunting, the support of others in similar circumstances, can be of great help.

Swindon CCG, Floor five, David Murray John Building, Brunel Centre, Swindon, SN1 1LH Tel: 01793 444614 or 01793 444655