Carers Flag Scheme / GP Surgeries ? Close To The 18th. Birthday For This One ! A Case Of DIY?


I won’t blow the layers of dust off the Carers Flag System … 2001 first muted.

2019 ?

The problem for carers / carees alike has only got worse as priority is given to saving money as opposed to introducing measures to assist customes … anyone using gp surgeries.

If such service was offered by one supermarket , their customers would look elsewhere within days.

Not so in gp surgeries as they are in a relative monopolist position … unless another surgery in the locality offers a better service for carers.

Swings and roundabouts ?

One surgery introduces a fully functional Carers Flag System only to be swamped by local carers wanting to transfer across from other surgeries.

Happened with my local surgery in 1999 or 2000 , one doctor took note of local carer concerns , did the maths , and found that they saved the practice the cost of one doctor , one nurse , one secretary.

He convinced his colleagues , added a part time locum and nurse , added a Carers Contact , and still saved money. All carers then had one point of contact on a separate phone number … the Carer Contact … shortly followed by a separate email address.

Prescriptions ? Usually a knock on the door just as you have put the phone down or surfed away from sending an email.

I’ll take a bow at this point … I helped from the carers side.

Doctors like him are few and far between ?

Time for many more carers across the country to talk with their doctors along these lines ?

If not for yourself , think of how many other carers in your locality would benefit ?

A little direct action … almost unheard of in our supporting organisations ?

GRASS ROOTS … those magic words again …

18 years and … just how many organisations / academics / suits have tried their hand to get something like the above
off the ground ?

DESPAIR … a word commonplace in CarerLand … this time around , aimed at all those who put their toe in the water and …
decided it was too cold to go swimming.

On the gp front , it takes WILL and DETERMINATION to ensure that all their patients receive the best care and attention for
whatever condition or ailment.

Where are both those when it comes to us ???

Quite simply , if YOU don’t try to change things with your local gp surgery , nobody else will !!!

No carers medals ( Food bank vouchers ) … just the satisfaction of knowing that YOU did what you could for fellow carers
on your manor !!!

Chris, Im not as well up on the history of various carer programs as you are. Would you please explain what the carer flag program is/was and what benefits it would offer.

It’s one I set up before the old PRT announced something similar in 2001 … only for them to bury it in 2004 as recorded
on another thread … possibly the old Carers Dragon Den thread where I first tried to blow the dust off this one.

( The Carers Trust site … search … CARERS FLAG SCHEME … no results ! Yet they promoted their own ! )

First step … identify a gp who will listen … and prepare some preliminary figures to show just how potential savings could
be made … easy for many who are continuing to squeeze blood out of their income ?

( Best point of attack ? How much we SAVE them ! )

Every family / kinship carer is identified in the gp surgery records. Quite easy to start with … huge , prominent , sign …
" Are you a family / kinship carer ? If so , let your doctor know. "

The one I helped set up … old white index card system … green spot on top right … red spot for caree as cross reference …
details of carer on the caree’s and vice versa. Initially , stapling two cards together … first surname first … rejected in favour
of the green / red spot.

( 1998 don’t forget … similar EXCEL system ? )

Main feature … designated person inside the gp surgery to handle carers exclusively.

( Separate email address to save all incoming going into one huge inbox … few used it … 1998 don’t forget. If possible ,
separate phone number ( 1998 not 2019 ) … do gp surgeries still rely on that method of communication in 2019 ? )

ALL matters to be handled … including the usual ones … appointments / perscriptions ( Including home delivery if needed )
/ hospital transport etc.

If the carer consented , mention would be made to another carer in a similar caring situation … isolation potentially being tackled.

In short , a one stop carers point inside the gp surgery.

Having helped set one up , I did keep meself informed for a year or so after moving away from the area.

A couple of additional bits then tacked on … informal news letter for carers and the occasional training session inside the surgery.

Fast tracking carers and … at the same time … saving that gp surgery monies … a win / win situation.

How many reading this posting will visit their own gp surgery in the near future … announce " I am a carer ! " … only to be
met with … " So what ? "

Fast forward to 2019 … any of the above fall foul of changes since 2001 … Data Protection perhaps … but if permission given ?

Any lone carers NOT have their perscriptions delivered ? Still have to visit gp for repeat ones ?

No local carers group ? That gp surgery of yours is the ideal catalyst … just change what’s behind that prominent sign ???

( Bit out of touch … last saw a gp in … 2007. )

Here is the Royal College of General Practitioners Guide to Helping Carers.

Unfortunately, lots of GP’s (including mine until I sent them a copy) are unaware of it’s existence.

So if you have any problems with your GP, print this off and give it to the Practice Manager, or send them a link. Loads more about doctors and carers on the RCGP website. Have a look!

PAGE 3 … things have moved on … on paper ???

( .pdf format … will NOT transfer across ! )

What follows is similar to what I did in 1998 … padded out of course , and bought upto date with other changes since 1998.

I’m sure a few gp surgeries took the iniative themselves , and set up their own schemes well before the RCGP issued that publication ?

Shame is only a guide … and not a directive ???

Yes I have heard of this in my area, the local carers centre provided a carer support worker in the g.p. surgery.
You could take your caree in for their appointment and a quick chat to sort out issues, might sort out issues before they get too serious, might save hundreds of pounds.

But unfortunately not my surgery, asked the G.P. said I am an unpaid carer, wasn’t interested , G.Ps deal with medical health matters. Surely if a carers health is being damaged by caring NO , little interest contact social services.

Another G.P. had a mental health link worker, very useful, change to the G.P. surgery with the carer support worker or the mental health link worker?

The NHS has a commitment to help unpaid carers but there just seems to be little interest, the amount of NHS workers I have talked to dozens, none knew or cared that I was an unpaid carer.