Recommendation ID

What is the effectiveness, cost effectiveness and acceptability of social prescribing for carers?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why the committee made the recommendations
There was some evidence suggesting the benefits of peer support for carers, either through individual befriending arrangements or support groups. These include reducing social isolation and providing empathy and mutual emotional support. The benefits described in the studies resonated with the committee's own experiences, so they used this evidence to recommend encouraging carers to use peer support and explaining why it can be helpful.
Low quality evidence from 1 study suggested some perceived benefits of support for former carers (for example, reducing social isolation). Given the limitations of this evidence, the committee could only recommend considering the possibility of extending support services to people after their caring role had ended (in place of a stronger recommendation).
The committee agreed that signposting and social prescribing could potentially promote better access to peer support for carers, but there was no evidence so they could not recommend them. Evidence is emerging about the effectiveness of social prescribing more generally, so the committee made a research recommendation about its effectiveness and acceptability specifically for carers (see research recommendation 5).

How the recommendations might affect practice
Peer support for carers is available but may be configured differently in different places. There may be an increased demand for and uptake of peer support locally, which may affect coordination and training costs for voluntary services.
The committee did not think that continuing to offer support to former carers would have resource implications because for most carers this support would only be needed for a short time after their caring role ended.
Full details of the evidence and the committee's discussion are in evidence review F: providing practical support for adult carers.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Supporting adult carers
Date issued
January 2020

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/01/2020