Information for

Your role at work may involve helping Carers, they maybe a customer or even a colleague. You may not know how to recognise a Carer and sometimes the Carer themselves does not realise that they are a classed as a Carer. The information below is designed to help you identify and support the Carers you come into contact with. Professional Referral

Why is supporting Carers so important?

Carers make a major contribution to society. Estimates show that the care provided by friends and family members to ill, frail or disabled relatives is equivalent to £119 billion every year. To be frank, without Carers, society would collapse. Carers are often referred to as the ‘hidden army’ of society as the magnitude of the work that they do is unpaid and done at home behind closed doors. If Carers are not given support, they are likely to burn out.

It is important to consider, that with people living longer, at some point in your life, you may find yourself in this position and become a Carer to someone that you love.

If you would like to find out more, including support for professionals, please visit the Forward Carers website Carer Friendly Communities or email

How Carers can support in Health and Social Care settings

Relatives and Carers play a critical role in caring for people at home and become experts in their care, providing a valuable insight that health professionals can benefit from. By working in partnership, Carers and health care professionals can ensure that the patient receives the appropriate care and improve time and chances of recovery.

As a professional working in social care, you will be in a position to identify Carers and link them up to support services such as Walsall Carers Hub. Carers are critical to your role, so the advice and guidance you offer to them can avert a breakdown in care, help manage your own current workload and prevent an increase in future case work.

GPs and their teams are usually the first place that Carers have contact with the NHS. GPs have a vital role in identifying, recognising, supporting and forming a relationship with Carers. Not only will this benefit the health and wellbeing of Carers, but can also be an advantage to your practice. In some areas, GPs are already the gateway to the huge range of support available to Carers.

Employers benefit when they support working Carers

Currently, one in six working Carers give up work or reduce their hours due to their caring role, and many others affected by poor wellbeing and stress. With many working Carers aged 45 – 64 years old, these are likely to be your most senior and skilled staff.

From a legal perspective, employers have obligations under flexible working regulations and equality legislation relating to disability which could apply to Carers. Employers cannot treat Carers less favourably than other people who do not have caring responsibilities. The Equality Act 2010 protects a person who experiences discrimination because they’re associated with someone who has a disability.

‘If you would like to find out how to support your employees who are balancing work with an unpaid caring role, please visit Become a Carer Friendly Workplace – Forward Carers or email