DOCTORS’ SURGERIES have been recognised for their work to support unpaid carers.

Staff at Purton Surgery were delighted to receive an Investors in Carers gold award from Carer Support Wiltshire at a glitzy awards bash last week.

The team behind the Wanborough Surgery were handed a ‘gold plus’ award in recognition of the outstanding work they do to support unpaid carers.

In total, 44 surgeries from across Wiltshire were given awards by Carer Support Wiltshire as part of their Investors in Carers scheme.

The scheme, funded by Wiltshire Council and the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, aims to raise awareness of carers’ issues among GPs.

To achieve the gold award, GPs surgeries must meet more than a dozen requirements – including maintaining an up-to-date carers’ register and holding at least one carers’ clinic every year.

Kai Howard, who has been practice manager at Purton Surgery for two years, said that it felt ‘very rewarding’ to receive the award.

“We do a lot of work for our carers. We hold coffee morning events, health checks and we invite carers in for flu vaccinations.”

The practice has around 30 carers on its books, Kai said. Staff at the surgery aim to raise awareness of the services available to carers.

“They’re a very valuable group of people who do a wonderful job in caring for their families and relatives. But people don’t always realise that they’re a carer – perhaps they’re looking after a family member.”

Ramsbury and Wanborough Surgeries were given the ‘gold plus’ award by bosses at Carer Support Wiltshire.

Alison Harrod, practice manager, said: “It is lovely to receive this award for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

“Our annual Carers Roadshow was well attended and over the last nine months we have initiative monthly carers’ coffee afternoons.”

Carer Support Wiltshire, which organises the Investors in Carers scheme, said that carers need extra support from healthcare professionals.

They pointed to a report published earlier this month by charity Carers UK, which found that 40 per cent of carers had not had a day off from caring in over a year – reporting a deterioration in their mental and physical health.

Catherine Hurford, chief executive of Carer Support Wiltshire, said: “We all need to do more to recognise, identify and support carers in our communities.

“Our Investors in Carers Scheme aims to do this and is a great example of partnership working benefitting those that need it.”

Swindon Carers Centre, which supports carers in the borough, offers drop-in sessions for carers in Swindon GPs surgeries