This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Carers need you to care about them

Written by: | Published:

The NHS and social care owe a debt to carers The NHS and social care owe a debt to carers

Would you expect someone stepping into your house to say hello and perhaps ask your name? Of course you would. But this is not the reality it seems for many carers. So said Dame Philippa Russell DBE at the QNI's conference on how nurses can support carers last week. Her presentation was a mix of facts and experience, gathered over many years as both a carer and an advocate for carers needs, having been Chair of the Standing Committee on Carers for two terms. She drew attention to the simple things that would make carers feel supported: recognising them and their expertise in managing the person they care for, including them in decision making and discharge planning, and acknowledging that their wellbeing is important.

One third of the population provides more than 20 hours care for someone per week. The NHS and social care owe a debt to the six million UK carers who play a huge part in keeping people in the community, and this will only increase in the future. Yet many carers, particularly the young, don't see themselves as carers. It's just what they do. Many young carers go on to care work of some sort.

At times, it seemed that the conference was pulling at the heartstrings of nurses already committed enough to attend. Some of the material on young carers was heartbreaking, but tears won't make their lives better. What they need is targeted support from school and community nurses. The conference focused on how simple interventions can help carers' mental health and physical health, and some good projects already out there. Simply asking carers how they are could make all the difference. Surely that's just common courtesy?

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.