Unpaid carers play a vital role. The nature of unpaid care is broad, and the roles and responsibilities that carers provide varies both in scope and intensity. They can be family members or friends, adults or children, who provide crucial care to a person who, due to a lifelong condition, be it to their physical and/or mental health, disability, or serious injury, simply cannot cope without their support.
The Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination (JCVI) has set the Phase One priorities for the rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccination programme. The key principle underpinning the JCVI’s approach to identifying nine priority cohorts in Phase one has been the protection of those at greatest clinical risk from COVID-19, and protection of the frontline health and social care workforce.
It reflects the vital role of those unpaid carers that they have been explicitly recognised within priority group 6 for COVID-19 vaccination.
Identification of unpaid carers
The JCVI definition of an unpaid carer has been clarified in Public Health England’s (PHE) Green Book for COVID-19.
PHE Green Book2 – Adult Carer
“Those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole
or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk
of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.”
Those clinically vulnerable to COVID include:
• children with severe neuro-disabilities
• those who are designated Clinically Extremely vulnerable (CEV)
• adults who have underlying health conditions (as defined in table 3 of the Green
• those who need care because of advanced age.
There are a number of existing sources that will be drawn from to identify unpaid carers.
• those in receipt of or entitled to a carer’s allowance
• those known to GPs who have a ‘carer’s flag’ on their primary care record
• those known to Local Authorities who are in receipt of support following a
• those known to local carers organisations to be actively receiving care and
An unpaid carer requiring a vaccination therefore can be, but is not limited to:
• Someone who cares for a person who is within JCVI priority cohorts 1-6,
provides close personal care or is the sole or primary carer.
• An adult family member or friend providing daily face-to-face care to a person who, because of their advanced age, requires support but is still living in their own home.
• A person caring for an adult with Down’s Syndrome.
• A parent/foster parent caring for a young person who is receiving Personal Independence Payments (PIP) because of a severe neuro-disability.
• Any adult providing supplementary unpaid care to an older person who is self funding their own care package, for example through a domiciliary care agency.
• Two siblings who equally share and provide 24-hour care to an older person with dementia in addition to their own family and work commitments. If either sibling was to fall ill, the other would not be able to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the older person. Both siblings would be considered the primary carer.
Visit our carer’s page to find out how to register yourself as an unpaid carer at Latham House Medical Practice
Patients at Latham House Medical Practice who are registered as carers are being invited for their Covid-19 vaccination.