Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


Essential Caregivers: info and support

Update, April 2022: the role of Essential Caregiver has now been removed from Government guidance on COVID-19. To see the latest guidance on visiting in care homes, including during outbreaks, click here.


Learn more about the role of an Essential Caregiver for care homes in England via our suite of resources:


Guide for families: our summary of the guidance and relevant laws on essential caregivers


Guide for care homes: Visiting and the Law explains care home’s legal duties relevant to visiting


Letter to local health and care leaders: calling on them to promote the role


Factsheet: for care providers and local leaders


Poster: to display in your care home, GP surgery etc.


FAQs: for care users, their families and care providers


Summary of guidance: visiting guidance explained, including relevant laws


Lessons from Canada: the benefits seen in Ontario for residents and staff



Living Through COVID in Care the story of Frances and her essential caregiver (4 mins)

What is an essential caregiver? by Helen Wildbore, director of R&RA (1 min)

Becoming an essential caregiver: approaching your care home by Helen, whose mum is in care (1 min)

Becoming an essential caregiver: tips for talking to care homes by Helen Wildbore, director of R&RA (1 min)

What kind of support can I provide as an essential caregiver? by Jenny, whose mum is in care (2 mins)

The benefits of essential caregivers by Janet Galloway, Head of Care Quality at care provider BCOP (2 mins)

Treating essential caregivers as central to residents’ care by Janet Galloway, Head of Care Quality at care provider BCOP (1 min)

Can essential caregivers have access during outbreaks? by Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum (1 min)

Full webinar with above speakers, with more info on the role, tips and the benefits (54 mins)

View all the above videos in a playlist here

More videos available on the National Care Forum website here.


If you need some support to get the role of Essential Caregiver, or you have other questions, please contact our helpline here.


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