Milton Keynes GP awarded for helping unpaid carers

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Milton Keynes Village Practice in Middleton has been awarded with the Investors in Carers GP Standard Award.

The first award of its kind in Milton Keynes which recognises its commitment to supporting patients who are unpaid carers.

To have achieved this award, the surgery has gone the extra mile to help carers over the past 12 months by designating a ‘Carers Champion’ to take the lead on a variety of carers issues.

These issues include carer awareness training for GPs and the practice team, maintaining an up to date carers’ register, flexible appointments for carers, a system to alert staff that a patient is a carer and referring carers through to Carers MK to access information and support on their caring role.

Helen Bowen, carers champion at Milton Keynes Village Practice, said: “We are delighted to be the first surgery in Milton Keynes to have received this award and to be recognised for all our efforts in supporting carers.

“The surgery as a whole has now become a lot more carer aware, and to date we have registered 190 carers, a high percentage of which were previously unknown to us.”

Carers MK, which launched the Investors in Carers GP Standard in Milton Keynes earlier this year, is working with other GP practices across Milton Keynes to help them achieve the Standard in the coming months.

An ‘accreditation panel’ drawn from Carers MK, Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group and local carers, oversees the scheme and assess the evidence which demonstrates whether a surgery has met the required standards to qualify for the award.

Dr Nicola Smith, said: “We are delighted that Milton Keynes Village Practice is being recognised with the Investors in Carers Standard.

“The award recognises the excellent work they do to support carers registered with their practice.

“Carers provide vital care and support within the community which in turn supports the health and social care system and we encourage all unpaid carers to register as a carer with their GP practice.

“The carers register means GPs are aware of the extra pressures carers are under and can offer them appropriate help, information and support.”

Mark, who cares for his wife and registered with Milton Keynes Village Practice, said: “We would like to thank Carers MK for all the help and care they give to our family and a big thank you to Helen Bowen from Milton Keynes Village Practice who is always there for us.

“Helen always has the time to listen to us and to resolve any issues we might have like flexibility in appointments and getting prescriptions done quickly without fuss.

“Our GP Dr Moore and all the staff at the Surgery are so good to us it’s like extended family, I would like to thank them for being there for us.”

There are over 23,000 unpaid carers in Milton Keynes, many caring for someone over 50 hours a week.

The contribution of carers is vital to the delivery of both health and social care and to the wider economy, and GPs and their teams are in an ideal position to help and support them.

Stephen Archibald, chief executive of Carers MK said: “Carers health often suffers as a result of caring so it is vital that those caring for a loved one are identified and registered with their GP.

“The Investors in Carers GP Standard acknowledges the work already being undertaken to support carers within GP Practices, as well as providing an accredited framework of good practice to help them develop carers’ support further.

“We would like to congratulate Milton Keynes Village Practice on receiving their award.”