Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12 Volume 3: Variation in the Experiences of Primary Care Patients

This report examines the relationship between self-reported experiences of patients and a range of patient, GP practice and regional level characteristics.

11 Detailed Findings - Carers

11.1 Respondents were asked the number of hours they spent giving regular help or support to family members, friends, relatives or others because of long-term physical / mental ill-health /disability or problems related to old age. Caring as part of paid employment was excluded. Overall 16 per cent of respondents cared for someone (Table 9).

Table 9 Respondents by the number of hours spent caring

Group Number of respondents Percentage of respondents
Not a carer 116,090 80
Cares for up to 19 hours a week 12,558 9
Cares for 20-34 hours a week 2,389 2
Cares for 35 or more hours a week 8,197 6
No response or invalid response 6,335 4

11.2 For the analysis, groups were compared with the largest group which was people who were not carers. Of the 39 questions modelled, caring for someone else had a weak effect on experiences for 34 of them.

11.3 People who cared for family members, friends, relatives or others reported slightly less positive experiences, although the differences were small. These questions covered all themes (access, referrals, the GP surgery, doctors, nurses, care and treatment, medicines, overall care and out-of-hours).

11.4 Those caring for up to 19 hours a week had the least positive experiences; with less positive experiences for 33 of the questions.

11.5 Those caring for people may have poorer experiences because it is difficult for them to access GP services due to their caring responsibilities. The reason that those who care for up to 19 hours a week have the least positive experiences may be explained by the fact that more people in this group also work full or part time which may make it even more difficult for them to access services.


Email: Gregor Boyd

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