Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has become one of only four mental health trusts in the country to receive a second gold star for their commitment to the national Triangle of Care initiative.
The Triangle of Care, developed in partnership with the Carers Trust as well as people with mental health problems and their carers, aims to improve communication between those caring for people with a mental health problem and mental health professionals.
By signing up to the Triangle of Care membership scheme, mental health trusts must undertake rigorous self-assessments and develop action plans to demonstrate how they are involving and supporting carers as well as promoting the important role they have and further improving services for carers.
The second gold star, which was achieved in a year rather than the required two years, recognises Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (GMW) work towards the Triangle of Care standards, commitment to ensuring carers are fully included and supported by services both now and in the future and is further accreditation of the Trust’s carer-focussed services.
GMW has already led the way in their commitment to working with carers by becoming a national NHS demonstrator pilot site for carers where best practice from Bolton was shared locally and nationally to shape the support and information carers receive.
A carers charter and strategy has also been developed by the Trust to set out what carers can expect from the Trust’s staff and services. The Trust has also employed dedicated Carer Support Workers to support carers both practically and emotionally and run carer awareness training for staff.
To help carers identify themselves as carers, a Mental Health Carers film has also been produced by the Trust. Carer Champions work with community teams and are based on all of their mental health inpatient wards to encourage more effective communication between carers, patients and professionals.
The Triangle of Care, led nationally by the Carers Trust, is based on six principles (standards) that mental health trusts can use to include and support carers. These principles range from identifying and assessing carers and their needs, offering carers a range of support, information and advice both for them and the person they care for to training staff in carer engagement.
Gill Green, Director of Nursing and Operations for GMW, said: “People who care for someone with a mental illness often provide day to day support and understand that person’s needs and condition extremely well as they have first-hand experience.
“When professionals appreciate this relationship and acknowledge the support that carers give as experts in that persons care then service users receive better care and support from services.
“We have developed a range of initiatives to better involve carers and their families as we want them to feel valued and get the help they need so that our service users get the best possible care.
“The second gold star for our work towards the Triangle of Care recognises the Trust’s commitment to improving support for carers and their families. As the Care Act was launched on 1 April 2015, it is a fitting tribute to how we are committed to supporting carers.”
If you would like to know more about this project or if you feel your experiences as a carer could help us with this piece of work, please contact: Tracy Collard, Carer Lead, on 0161 772 3935 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for Editors
Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) provides district mental health services in Bolton, Salford and Trafford. GMW also provides substance misuse services in Salford, Trafford, Wigan and Leigh, Blackburn with Darwen, Central Lancashire and Cumbria.
GMW delivers specialist mental health and substance misuse inpatient services throughout Greater Manchester and the wider North.
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