Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, September 1, 1998 Published at 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK


Health

Carers' needs 'ignored' by doctors

GPs accused of being unaware of the needs of Britain's carers

Carers save the government £34bn a year, but unless they get support soon they will crack under the strain, according to a new report.


Carers feel they need more support
The report, Taken for Granted?, published by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, says many feel they are not consulted over decisions and their needs are ignored.

A survey of more than 1,300 carers showed that over 70% of carers of working age felt GPs were unaware of their needs.

They said medical staff rarely asked if they could cope and hospital staff often failed to involve them in decisions over the discharge of patients.

The trust wants medical and social services staff to include Britain's estimated six million carers in decision-making.

And it is asking the government to provide them with more support.

National strategy

In June, Tony Blair announced that a National Carers' Strategy would be developed.


[ image: David Butler: the NHS could not function without carers]
David Butler: the NHS could not function without carers
David Butler, chief executive of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, claimed carers' perceived lack of support was a "time bomb".

He said: "Without those who are looking after friends and relatives, the NHS and community care could not function.

"If they do not get support, carers who are looking after someone day and night can reach crisis point and end up needing medical help themselves."

Long-term care

Other findings from the survey, sponsored by Glaxo Wellcome, include that nearly two-thirds of carers have looked after a friend or relative for over five years, 16% for over 20 years.


[ image: Carers say they are rarely consulted by medical and social care staff]
Carers say they are rarely consulted by medical and social care staff
Around 94% administered medicines and other treatment, but only a third had any medical training.

The majority of carers are aged between 16 and 64 and many are in work or have other responsibilities.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes
Relevant Stories

25 Aug 98†|†Health
Government promises to listen to carers

10 Jun 98†|†Latest News
Carers promised help, but no cash yet

05 Jun 98†|†Latest News
Carers miss out on care





Internet Links

Community care information

Carers' National Association


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99