A cross-cutting theme of our work considers the needs of carers. There is an opportunity for primary care teams to support family carers in their time of care and subsequent bereavement; as family carers are frequently cared for by the same primary care practice.
In addition to being well placed to play a key role in end of life care for all patients (in all illnesses, settings, dimensions, times and countries) the primary care setting offers the potential to offer support to carers through their period of care and in subsequent bereavement - as family carers are frequently cared for by the same primary care practice.
Research has revealed that family carers of patients with lung cancer can experience a similar dynamic pattern of needs as the people they care for, so this must be acknowledged and appropriately responded to. In the UK general practitioners are encouraged to identify and keep registers of patients who have a significant caring role, and to asses their needs and support them in their caring.
Support for informal carers in primary care
Archetypal trajectories of social, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing and distress in family care givers of patients with lung cancer: secondary analysis of serial qualitative interviews. BMJ 2010; 340