A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to a friend or family member who due to illness, a disability, a mental health problem or addiction, cannot cope without their support.  

We understand the integral role carers play in supporting our patients. The patient-carer relationship is important, and we recognise this improves both the patient’s and carer’s experience of the hospital. It also helps to promote wellbeing and continuity of care. 

We want to encourage this relationship as much as possible, ensuring you can continue in your caring role while your cared-for person is in hospital, should you wish.  

It’s important that together we identify, involve and support you in order to get the care of the patient right. 

Depending on the circumstances, some of the care you normally give will continue, while some of it may need to change. We will discuss this with you and work together to complete a carer’s agreement.

We also know caring for someone can be both emotionally and physically demanding — there are people who can support you.

Our support services for carers

Below is a list of some of the support services available at the Royal Free London:

Volunteer support

Royal Free Charity volunteers provide a meet and greet service to patients and their carers at our three main hospitals. They are happy to help carers navigate their way around our hospitals.

Local support services

Barnet Carers 

Barnet Carers provides practical, advice, support and information for young and adult carers living in Barnet.

Camden Care Choices

Provides information and advice to adult and young carers on a number of topics including carer’s assessments, planning for crisis and finance. 

Camden Carers

Camden Carers offers information, advice and support to unpaid adult carers (aged 18+) living, working or studying in Camden, or caring for someone who lives in Camden. 

Centre 404

Centre 404 is a charity that offers support to people with a learning disability and their families in north London. They provide information and advice to carers, and also run regular informal discussion groups and workshops where carers can meet and talk to one another. 

Enfield Carers Centre

The centre offers support and advice for all unpaid carers in Enfield. 

Islington Carers Hub

The hub provides advice, information and support to carers aged 18 or over who live or work in Islington or care for someone living in Islington. 

National support services

Age UK

Provides advice for older people on benefits, care and housing options. They also have a range of carer’s information leaflets available for download. 

Carers Trust

Carers Trust has a range of online communities carers can join for support, information, friendship and to speak to other carers. 

Carers UK

Carers UK can provide help and advice on areas including finance, practical support, health and wellbeing, working and caring. They also have useful information leaflets available for download. 

Dementia UK

A specialist dementia nursing care charity, there for the whole family. Their nurses, known as Admiral Nurses, provide free, life-changing support and advice to anyone affected by dementia. 

The Children’s Society

Provides a map of young carers projects around the UK, along with information on topics young carers may find useful such as school, mental health, money and bills. 


Provides support and advice to people with a learning disability, and their families and carers. 

NHS website

The NHS website has a dedicated social care and support guide, providing carers with information and advice on topics such as money, work and benefits, and practical tips if you care for someone. 

Parkinson’s UK

Support services for adult and young carers of people with Parkinson’s disease in the UK.