According to a recent Carers UK study, 4.5 million people have taken on a caring responsibility as a result of Covid-19. The government’s expert committee – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) – revised its recommendations on 30 December to include unpaid carers.
It recommends unpaid carers who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill or those who get Carers’ Allowance, should be prioritised alongside people with underlying health conditions. This means unpaid carers are now in priority group 6.
The increase in Covid-19 infection rates, due to new strains of the virus and the extended national lockdown, will all greatly impact on the health and wellbeing of carers. Carers continue to support loved ones who have existing long term conditions. There are also those that are new to caring due to the pandemic and unpaid carers who care for those who have contracted the virus and have long term complications. Carers are now being urged to let their GP know that they are a carer so that they can be called when it is their turn.
Chris Whiley, chief executive at Carers’ Resource said:
“Our advice is to ask your GP to add your caring responsibilities to your medical record as soon as possible. With the person you care for, you should also ask them, or the practice the person you care for is registered with, to add your name and contact details to the record of the person you are caring for too.
It’s a good idea to register as a carer with your GP as it will mean they can identify you for health checks and a flu jab and help your GP make reasonable adjustments for the person you care for if needed.”