Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Carer Lead Tracy Collard and Dementia Lead Gill Drummond visited the House of Commons (pictured) for a parliamentary reception to mark the launch of a new dementia care guide.
The Triangle of Care: A Guide for Best Practice in Dementia Care and carer inclusion was launched in Parliament last month (20/01/2014) during an event hosted by Salford and Eccles Labour MP Hazel Blears, vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia.
The guide was co-designed with carers, people with dementia and practitioners and with the support of Dementia UK’s Uniting Carers network. It sets out six key standards to improve the care of people living with dementia by achieving better collaboration between them, the carer and the health professional.
At the launch, Carer Lead Tracy Collard presentenced Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s experiences of implementing the Triangle of Care to MPs, carers and health and social care professionals. The Trust, along with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, is cited by the Carers Trust as leading good practice in supporting carers of people with dementia in general hospital settings.
Tracy outlined how the Trust uses the Triangle of Care initiative to make improvements to mental health care. She emphasised that by working in partnership and listening to the Trusts’ carers and patients ensures they are well supported and the help and information they receive is tailored to their individual needs, which can make a real difference to their lives and the lives of the person being cared for.
The Triangle of Care (TOC) initiative, developed by the Carers Trust, working in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), is a resource for staff working in mental health services to promote the inclusion of carers in care-planning, decision making and the treatment of people with a mental illness. The dementia guide builds on the TOC initiative and focusses specifically on how the model can be used to support carers of people with dementia in general hospital settings.
Following the reception Tracy said: "I really enjoyed the evening and the opportunity to present the Trust’s experiences of dementia care and adopting the Triangle of Care initiative. We are really excited about future developments in involving carers of people with dementia in the support they receive and look forward to collaborating with the Carers Trust and RCN further in the future.”
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, said: “We are very pleased to see this excellent piece of work officially launched in Parliament. When people with dementia go into hospital, it is essential that their carers not only feel included and involved in their care, but play an integral role in it.
“Carers often have their own needs and should be offered information and support. They also have a lot to offer health care staff, as they are often the ones who know the person best. No one is better placed to advise on a person’s needs and how their dementia affects them than a carer who has known them for years.”
The Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP, attended the event as did the Care Minister, Norman Lamb MP, who shared the Government’s commitment to include carers in decision-making.
Over the coming months, the Carers Trust and the Royal College of Nursing will be working to ensure that the Triangle of Care for dementia model is widely adopted, so that more carers and their families receive the best support.