Skip links
Illustration of doctor in white coat with clipboard

Keep an effective Carers Register.

A Carers register is a list or database that records which patients have unpaid caring responsibilities.

NHS England state “As a minimum, systems are expected to be able to report how many unpaid carers are registered in primary care, including the number of young carers, and of those unpaid carers, how many have a carer contingency plan recorded in records so that professionals can action them when required.” Read NHS England guidelines here.

It is well evidenced that caring can take a significant toll on an individual’s physical and mental health. Without early identification, caring can be an isolating and overwhelming experience.

Why should I keep my carers register up to date?

Identifying carers early is beneficial to the carer, the person with care needs and to the GP practice supporting them. Having a named person responsible for its upkeep will communicate its importance and ensure the register is seen as integral part of the surgeries offer to its carer patients.

It can help to:

Knowing a patient is a carer allows you to:

It is important to update records when a patient is no longer a carer.

Why should I have a named person responsible for its upkeep?

Having a named person responsible for its upkeep communicates its importance and ensures the register is seen as integral part of the surgeries offer to its carer patients. A carers register can only be truly effective if it is up to date and linked to a clear offer for carers. A carers lead should have oversight of the carers register.

Top tips for an effective Carers Register

Have a named person responsible for the carers register and its upkeep.

Code a patient as a carer using the latest SNOMED codes / guidance from NHSE

Add as an Active Concern (System1) Active Problem (EMIS). This means that it will be seen on the patient’s summary page and can be referenced easily by clinical and nonclinical staff.

Link the carer record to the person with care needs ensuring that it is clear on both patient records.

Seek consent from the person with care needs to allow the carer to have access to medical records and correspondence.

Seek consent from the carer to generate a referral to Carers Support West Sussex.

Have a clear offer for carers – which makes your carers register purposeful to the surgery and carer patients. This could include annual health checks, flu vaccines, flexible appointments, access to medical information of cared for, early health screening. See ‘Define your offer to carers’ for more information.

Update records – when the status of the person with care needs changes, ensure it is reflected in the carer records. For example, moving from ‘patient themselves providing care’ to ‘Is no longer a carer’

Example registration and alert flowchart

Sample carers registration form

Sample text to use on your new patient forms to identify carers

All-patient carer letter / e-mail

Example text campaign to reach unidentified patient carers