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Carers Week: How GPs can help create carer-friendly communities

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring for others Credit: PA

People across Essex are being asked to ‘Think Carer’ during this year’s Carers Week to help raise awareness of the needs of unpaid carers and build carer friendly communities.

Carers Week runs from 12-18 June and is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

Carers Week run from 12-18 June Credit: ITV News Anglia

Essex County Council have started an online campaign highlighting how GP practices can help carers in their practice.

Simple things such as flagging they are a carer on their patient record, having a different GP to the person they care for and being flexible on appointments are shown to make a huge difference.

People often don’t realise they are carers, normally because the person they are looking after is family and they just assume that’s their role.

We need to acknowledge that they have needs – physical, emotional and psychological – as they can so easily be forgotten while looking after their loved one. I urge people to come forward and ask for help, as it is there for them.

– Dr Elizabeth Towers, GP
3 in 4
Carers don't feel their caring role is understood or valued by their community

We have over 146,000 carers in Essex ranging from very young children to the very elderly.

Surely it is incumbent on all of us to support them as they look after their loved ones. We can all play our part in helping to identify carers, recognise they may be struggling and making small adjustments to improve their lives.

– Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Heath and Adult Social Care