South East London carer

Meet #YourPrimaryCare Team

Welcome to your primary care team. As the first point of contact in the healthcare system, think of us as the ‘front door’ of the NHS. As a carer, you face challenging and complex situations everyday and your primary care team is here to support you with these. Your primary care team consists of general practitioners, practice nurses, and a host of other professionals to support you with your day-to-day.

If you call or book an appointment with your local surgery or GP, you may be seen by someone else first. This is because they’re the best person to initially help you, and can refer you to other specialists if you need it.

Don’t forget to inform your GP of your status as a carer – they can support you with extra time and flexible appointments to work around your schedule. We also recommend participating in a free carer’s assessment. This will assess your situation and allow us to support you as a carer, and you may be entitled to extra support.

Your local social services team can provide more information on extended breaks and respite care – find yours here.

Team Roles

The first contact at your local surgery or practice, receptionists play a critical role in helping to signpost you to the correct professional in the primary care team. Our receptionists deal with a huge volume of calls and requests every day, and are essential to help us run smoothly and see as many patients as possible.
Practice Nurse

By providing health promotion, counselling, and education, practice nurses can help to support you in most aspects of the patient care and treatment system. They also provide care on multiple levels such as treating small injuries, providing vaccines, and helping patients manage long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Care Coordinator
Care coordinators ensure appropriate support is available for you and the person you are caring for by arranging and supervising interdisciplinary care within the primary care system. They meet up with patients and their carers to discuss what services are available to support patients, their families and carers, and their needs. By creating and adjusting care plans to support these needs, care coordinators are able to ensure that patients receive the best quality help and support they can. Care coordinators also provide support to carers and families where necessary and can signpost to further support resources as required, to help you manage the demands of being a carer.
General Practitioner (GP)
GPs are doctors focusing on treating common medical conditions, providing preventative care, and health education to their patients. As a carer, and with the consent of the person you are caring for, you can gain access to their online medical profile via GP Online Services. This service provides easy access to see what medication they are currently taking, any notes and test results from GP appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions, and an online booking system for the GP. Using this resource gives you the freedom to coordinate appointments and treatments around your schedule, instead of the surgery’s opening hours.
Mental Health Practitioner

Mental health practitioners based in GP practices provide quicker access to mental health support for patients. These qualified practitioners assess patients, identifying and treating common mental health problems – they may also refer patients to appropriate specialist services. Mental health practitioners interview patients and identify areas where the person you are caring for you may wish to change how they feel, think or behave. Mental health practitioners support patients to manage and understand their emotions and feelings, improving sleep patterns, general mental wellbeing and health.

Mental health practitioners can also provide support for you as a carer in regulating and maintaining your own wellbeing and mental health by listening to your concerns, providing additional support and guidance on self-care or a referral. These practitioners understand the challenges which can arise due to the demands of caring for another adult, and can assist you to maintain your mental and physical wellbeing.

Social Prescribing Link Worker

Link workers connect patients, and their carers, to achieve greater control of their own health by connecting them with non-medical support to improve well-being and mental health. Patients suffering from long-term conditions, mental health issues, loneliness, or have complex social needs are seen by link workers to find ways to improve their well-being. By prescribing social activities such as arts and crafts, group learning, and friend-making sessions, link workers aim to enrich and improve patients’ lives and wellbeing, and continue to track and review their progress and improvements.

Social prescribing link workers can also help you, as a carer, if you are struggling with any long-term conditions, mental health issues, or have complex social needs, supporting both your own wellbeing. They can also provide advice and support with your responsibilities as a carer, and can signpost you to helpful resources to assist you further.

Clinical Pharmacist
Clinical pharmacists are here to support you and the person you are caring for in managing their long-term conditions, such as diabetes. They can provide advice on the clinical use of medicines and provide detailed information on medicines for both patients and their carers, such as how to administer them safely and any side effects. Clinical pharmacists can also provide information on managing conditions such as dementia, and may refer you to another specialist if required.
Physiotherapists based in GP practices can help patients with musculoskeletal issues such as back, neck and joint pain (including with conditions such as arthritis). They will assess and diagnose the problem, provide expert advice on how best to manage your condition and refer you to specialist services if needed.
Physician Associate
Working under the supervision of a doctor, physician associates work as part of your medical team to assist with diagnosis and treatment. They are able to safely evaluate and treat you or the person you are caring for, including performing medical examinations, undertaking diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as blood tests and interpreting x-rays, and formulating management and treatment plans for you or the person you care for, including arranging tests and recommending medicines where needed.