15 June 2020

It is estimated that one in ten patients in any general practice is a carer. Carers provide a vital role, and enable patients to maintain their independence, wellness and quality of life. However, carers themselves can experience a range of negative health, social and financial impacts as a result of their caring role.

In this video carers share their experience and talk about what they would like doctors to know, to improve a carer’s health and wellbeing.


The Victorian carer strategy 2018-2022, developed with input from 1,500 carers, found that many carers will spend lots of their time in health care settings but will rarely have their own health needs identified or addressed.

The new Carer Awareness Education kit from the Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance offers guidance for GPs to identify and support patients who are carers. The kit covers:

  • Recognition of the carer role
  • Identifying and supporting carer needs
  • Involving the carer in patient care

Many carers consider general practice the place to point them in the direction of support and services.

“It is important that primary care providers are aware of the range of issues that carers may face, and that GPs are able to identify carers, involve them in patient care where appropriate, support them to maintain the caregiving situation and monitor their health and wellbeing,” says Jeannie Knapp, GP and HealthPathways clinical editor, and presenter of the online Carer Awareness Education.

The Carer Awareness Education kit was developed with input from GPs, carers, and Carers Victoria and is framed by The Victorian carer strategy 2018-2022. This project is funded by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in partnership with Carers Victoria and delivered by Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance (VTPHNA), led by North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.

General practices can visit vtphna.org.au/carers to access the kit. The education is accredited for RACGP and ACRRM professional development, provided when you complete all three short webinars and the associated survey.

With the Victorian and Tasmanian PHN Alliance.

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