What is a carer?

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.

Are you a carer?

Some people have been looking after family or friends for years and do not recognise themselves as carers. This is why, at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, we value the often life-long support carers provide and recognise them as equal care partners. We want to offer as much guidance and reassurance as possible, to help you in your caring role. 

Who cares for the carer?

On this page you will find lots of links to very helpful resources, ranging from information about support groups for carers and looking after yourself, through to advice on housing and welfare. Registering as a carer at your GP surgery can help with:

  • Flexible appointments

  • Your GP will monitor your health more closely, as they will be more aware of your commitments as a carer and any associated health problems.

Self-referral service for carers

CPFT's Psychological wellbeing team has launched a new self-referral service. 

Carers can self-refer online here, by telephoning 0300 300 0055 or they can discuss a referral with their GP. The team offers short-term, evidence-based psychological treatment for common mental health difficulties, such as stress, anxiety, low mood and depression.  All the treatments on offer are recommended by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 

Carer survey

Carer survey

Are you carer? Take this chance to provide us with your views and experiences. Click on this link to complete  the survey or talk to a member of staff. It’s completely anonymous and will only take a couple of minutes to complete. Your responses will help to inform our work in engaging with carers. 

If you have any queries about the Carers Programme/Triangle of Care please email   

Carers for people using adult mental health services:

If you are a family member or carer for someone receiving adult mental health services, you can contact us directly with any questions or concerns you have by emailing the team at

Additional resources

Additional resources

  • The Adult Eating Disorders Service runs a monthly support group and short courses for carers with loved ones who have an eating disorder.  Details can be found here.

  • Family and Friends of People with Borderline Personality Disorder is a support group that meets monthly at The Edge Cafe, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3NN. For more information please contact Gill Matthews via

  • Support from social services can be found by contacting Peterborough City Council  T: 01733 747474; or Cambridgeshire County Council T: 0345 045 5202. 

What to do in an emergency 

  • The "What if" service  operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year and is available to family carers in Cambridgeshire. It can provide urgent support in the event that your carer is unable to be there for you because of a sudden illness, accident or other unplanned event. This is done by getting in touch with your nominated contacts. It can provide back-up support available, if needed.

  • Lifeline is available 11am-11pm, 7 days a week. T: 0808 808 2121

  • Rethink Carers Support offers group and phone support in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. T: 07783 267013

  • Making Space provides support for mental health carers. T: 01480 211006.

If there is any information that you would like included or if you find a link that needs updating, please contact us by sending an e-mail to


Carer films

Here are two short films with carers, who talk about their experiences of looking after a loved one with dementia. Please click on the links below.

Sharon's story
Lorretta's story

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust