The Triangle of Care - Carers Included

The Triangle of Care - Carers Included: A Best Practice Guide in Acute Mental Health Care [pdf] 777KB aims to improve communication between those caring for people with a mental health problem and mental health professionals. The guide was developed in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing as well as people with mental health problems and their carers. Triangle of Care logo with two stars

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.

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) has become one of only four mental health trusts in the country to receive a second gold star for our commitment to the national Triangle of Care initiative.

What does The Triangle of Care mean for carers?

The Triangle of Care, led nationally by the Carers Trust, brings together many years of research with carers into what they feel will benefit them when involved with mental health services. It is based on six principles that mental health trusts can use to include and support carers.

It explores what each principle means in practice and provides good practice examples. Although the examples are from England the principles apply to any mental health service provision.

The six key principles:

  1. Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Staff are carer aware and trained in carer engagement strategies.
  3. Policy and practice protocols re confidentiality and sharing information are in place.
  4. Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place.
  5. A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the acute care pathway.
  6. A range of carer support services is available along with a self-assessment tool.

Gill Green, Director of Nursing for GMMH, 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.

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. We want them to feel valued and get the help they need so that our service users get the best possible care.”

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: Neil Grace, Carer Lead on 0161 357 1246 or email: neil.grace@gmmh.nhs.uk.