There are over 23,500 adult carers in Milton Keynes, nearly one in ten of the adult population. This means that typically one tenth of GPs’ adult patients are carers.
Carers often don’t recognise themselves as such and don’t usually ask for help or support for themselves. Evidence suggests that carers are more likely to have psychological and physical health problems than the population generally, particularly depression, anxiety and back problems. It is therefore important to identify and support carers in order that they can maintain their own health and wellbeing and in turn this will help them to carry on supporting the person they care for.
The aim of Milton Keynes Investors in Carers GP Standard is to:
- Acknowledge work already being undertaken to support carers by local General Practices
- Support General Practices to refer carers to Carers MK
- Provide an accredited framework of good practice to help General Practices develop carer support
An Accreditation Panel will oversee the scheme and award accreditation certificates which will be valid for two years.
Milton Keynes Village Practice in Middleton has been awarded the first Investors in Carers GP Standard Award in Milton Keynes.
To have achieved this award, Milton Keynes Village Practice has gone the extra mile to help carers by designating a ‘Carers Champion’ to take the lead on a variety of carers’ issues.
These issues include carer awareness training for GPs and the practice team, maintaining an up to date carers’ register, flexible appointments for carers, a system to alert staff that a patient is a carer and referring carers through to Carers MK to access information and support on their caring role.
Helen Bowen, carers champion at Milton Keynes Village Practice, said: “We are delighted to be the first surgery in Milton Keynes to have received this award and to be recognised for all our efforts in supporting carers. The surgery as a whole has now become a lot more carer aware, and to date we have registered 190 carers, a high percentage of which were previously unknown to us.”