CHESTERFIELD MP Toby Perkins is calling on GPs to register anyone who takes on a significant care role for a member of their family.
Medical professionals’ focus on the needs of the patient has often meant that the needs of those who care for them have gone unnoticed.
Mr Perkins met with staff and volunteers at the Derbyshire Carers Centre on West Bars to mark National Carers Week. He heard from the Centre’s staff and volunteers about pressures many carers face and their concern that people are struggling to cope alone.
In Derbyshire there are over 110,000 people who take on full-time care responsibilities, but just 5,000 are registered as carers.
Deborah Gough, Area Manager for Derbyshire Carers, said: “There are a great many people across Chesterfield who take on care responsibilities without advice about benefits, respite care or help and guidance from professionals.
“Too often, we only see carer-givers when their lives have reached crisis point and they have been pushed into a state of ill health themselves.”
Ms Gough added: “It’s vital to get recognition for them as valued partners in the delivery of care.”
Derbyshire Carers Centre is now spearheading an initiative Teaming Up for Transition to connect people who suddenly find themselves with care responsibilities, with support and advocacy groups.
Toby Perkins MP said: “I commend Derbyshire Carers Centre for trailblazing this fantastic initiative.
“GPs assess the medical needs of their patients but its their carers who need support too in what can be a stressful and bewildering new environment.”
Mr Perkins added: “I will be writing to GP practices in my constituency to promote Teaming Up for Transition and to encourage medical professionals to register new carers so that those who take on this selfless work can get the advice and support they need.”