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CRISP and services for carers

You may need to have a carer’s assessment before you can access some of the services available, but please do not let that put you off. A carer’s assessment is not an assessment of the care you provide, but a conversation we have with you to discuss the support you provide, the impact it has on your life and to discuss how we can help. 

CRISP (Carers Resource, Information and Support Programme) is our Carers Support Service offering a range of advice, information and support for carers including: 

We’ve worked with local carers across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and with our other partner organisations, to develop a strategic vision called Valuing Carers in Dorset. This sets out what carers think is important for us to focus on.

Carers Centre

The CRISP Carers Centre is home to our friendly, knowledgeable Carers' Support Service. 

Our Carers Centre is currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19. 

You can call the Carers Support Service on 01202 128 787 during weekday office hours. If you call outside office hours or you cannot get through straight away please leave a message and someone will get back to you. 

Other support Services

Carers Information Service

A regular free newsletter with carers’ news and information, the Caring Matters magazine, an A-Z of carers services, and contacts for specialist support.

Carers In Crisis

Carers in Crisis is a free-to-join emergency back-up scheme that helps the person you care for in an emergency, when you're suddenly unable to provide your usual support. An emergency, or crisis, could be anything from transport problems which delay your return home for a few hours, to more serious issues like sudden illness or an accident. 

Carers’ Choir

Enjoy singing with the 'Care Free' choir.


Befriending for carers. Call 01202 429 037 for more information.


An advocate helps you express your views and worries. Call 0300 111 3303.

NHS Carers Direct  

Confidential information and advice for carers. Call 0300 123 1053, Monday to Friday from 8am to 9pm and weekends and bank holidays from 11am to 4pm.

You can also book a call back at the best time for you, or fill in an online enquiry form.

Conditions and diagnosis

If you're looking after someone who has been diagnosed with a long-term health condition or illness, you are likely to face many practical issues. It's important to get information about the condition and how it will affect the person you care for. This will help you to understand any changes they may go through and support them in retaining their independence, confidence and self-esteem.

NHS Choice has information about specific long-term health conditions.

Register with your GP as a carer

It is important to tell your GP you are a carer, as they will also be able to offer you advice and support. 

Each GP practice has a dedicated person who can help you by providing information and advice on: 

  • any medical conditions including treatments for the person you care for - this may help you feel more confident in your caring role
  • services provided by the NHS such as continence services and patient transport to hospital appointments
  • advice on other services and welfare benefits
  • carrying out home visits to you or the person you care for if it is difficult to attend appointments at the surgery
  • arranging appointments for both you and the person you care for at the same time to avoid having to visit the surgery twice
  • arranging for repeat prescriptions to be delivered to your local pharmacy to save you picking them up.

Your GP will also be aware of your caring responsibilities should you need treatment or hospitalisation.

Free annual flu vaccination

Carers of people with serious/chronic health conditions or who are frail may also qualify for an annual flu vaccination. Ask your GP for more information.

COVID-19 guidance for unpaid carers

GOV.UK provides COVID-19 guidance for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Keeping safe

People with disabilities, mental health problems and dementia sometimes behave aggressively, either physically or verbally. This can be very distressing for the person and for their carer, family and friends.

The person you care for may become more dependent or challenging in their own behaviour and you might need support to avoid harm to yourself and continue your caring role. Please ask your GP or a health professional for advice. 

If you have concerns about the welfare of a vulnerable adult and think that they may be at risk of harm or abuse, you should report abuse.

Leonardo Trust

Leonardo Trust is an independent charity to help people in Dorset who care full-time for a sick or disabled relative or friend at home. They may be able to help you with:

  • funds for a short break
  • help in the home including cleaning and gardening
  • replacing a broken washing machine or tumble dryer
  • funds to help you learn something new.

Hospital stays

We have information about hospital stays if you or the person you care for are going into hospital.  


Some charities have helplines and online forums that can give you advice and support: