Health services and support

Health services are ideally positioned to identify young carers. If a professional can spot where extra support is needed, they can prevent potential long term harm.

Risks facing young carers

Young carers are often under a lot more pressure than other children in their age group. Health professionals are ideally positioned to identify if a child or young person is providing care for the patient under their care. They can then prevent them from suffering long term and persistent issues.

Some of the risks facing young carers include:

  • Becoming ill or suffering an injury when lifting or dressing someone
  • Developing emotional problems
  • Developing symptoms of an eating disorder

health professionals

Young carer health services

For health professionals

NHS England and its partners have developed a toolkit to help health and social care organisations work together in identifying, assessing and supporting the well-being of carers and their families.

Our GP and Health Professionals Pack contains a guide for supporting, identifying and signposting young carers, posters for the waiting room and staffroom, and a booklet for young carers.

Other useful resources:

For school nurses

School Nurses play an important role in identifying and working with young carers in school. Here are a list of trainings and resources to help school nurses do this effectively:

  • School Nurse Website - explanation of who young carers are and what school nurses can do to support them.

  • NHS Carers Toolkit — covers duties on NHS organisations brought about by the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014.

  • Queens Nursing Institute carers Resource Project — The QNI has developed three free online resources to support nurses who work with carers. One specifically developed for Nurses working in General Practice, one specifically for School Nurses and one for Community Nurses to enable effective identification.

  • Supporting Carers in General Practice — a module created to provide information and guidance for healthcare professionals to enable them to build carer involvement and support into their everyday practice.