Eleven new carers´ "champions" will work with CCGs to help raise awareness of the needs of carers, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has announced.
The GP champions will become ambassadors for carers with the aim of improving local services and shaping policies to ensure that carers are receiving all the support they need.
Around six and a half million people in the UK are providing unpaid care to a family member or friend – and the RCGP estimates that one in 20 patients in every GP practice will be a carer.
The GP champions are:
- Dr Rita De - GP Carers’ Champion, Buckinghamshire
- Dr Philip Leftley - East Anglia
- Dr Mohammed Farooqui - Essex
- Dr Zunia Hurst - Hertfordshire
- Dr Rishi Chelvan - Kent
- Dr Nazia Mohammed - Liverpool
- Dr Ann Mulroy - London
- Dr Kirsty Moore - Middlesex
- Dr Raj Bethapudi - Sunderland
- Dr Hazel Mills - Wales, South West, West England
- Dr Nejla Hussein - West Midlands
The RCGP has also announced four national summits which will allow attendees to learn more about what makes a positive difference to carers’ health and wellbeing and share best practice of what is working well across the country. This will be used to create principles of good practice for the commissioning of services, which will be published in autumn 2014. The first summit took place in York this week and others will follow in Leicester (July 3), London (July 8) and Taunton (July 10).
Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP said: “Carers are our unsung heroes in society and the contribution they make is immense. But they can often neglect their own health and in many cases, it is only a matter of time before they themselves become ill.
“Our GP champions will be using their insight and experience of caring for carers to influence the key decision-makers in local communities so that we all continue to improve the support and services we give to carers and ensure that they stay well enough to keep on caring."