Massive thanks to Karen Martin, Mental Health Development Coordinator at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland for this week informative blog post. #makingadifference
The launch of the guide, The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in Scotland, in late 2013, was the culmination of a number of years of research into the information and support that mental health carers need from service providers.
The guide is a valuable tool for:
- bringing together all mental health service providers
- sharing best practice and building on current practice
- self-assessing existing service provision
- offering support and encouragement to mental health providers to deliver best practice consistently.
Already well received in England, the guide had further validation when it was included in the UK Government’s strategies for mental health and carer service provision and social inclusion. In Scotland validation came from the inclusion of Triangle of Care as a good practice document by Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, and endorsed by Scottish Recovery Network as a tool to help services evidence carer involvement within recovery. Similarly it has now been endorsed by Scottish Government Working Group for Commitment 2 of Mental Health Strategy.
What does The Triangle of Care mean for carers?
The Triangle of Care 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 services can use to include and support carers. It explores what each principle means in practice and provides good practice examples.
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 care pathway.
6 A range of carer support services is available along with a self-assessment tool.
Carers are often the only constant in the service user’s mental health care journey.
What does The Triangle of Care mean for dementia carers and services?
Carers Trust Scotland is pleased to announce that Triangle of Care has been adapted to make it suitable for use within dementia settings here in Scotland. This was possible due to partnership working with Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, carers of people with dementia, local and national organisations, such as Dementia Carers Voices and University of Stirling Dementia Research Department.
The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Dementia Care in Scotland has the same six standards, but highlights to services how it can be used, as one of many tools, to improve carer involvement in line with Scotland’s Dementia Strategy. The Triangle of Care for dementia also demonstrates how it can ensure the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers can be upheld and promoted.
The new Scottish Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Dementia Care in Scotland is due to be published on line in early January 2015 and Carers Trust Scotland, in partnership with Dementia Carers Voices, hope to start promoting its use within dementia settings. Currently NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are looking at introducing Triangle of Care within some of its older people areas, in particular within Renfrewshire CHP. We will keep people updated on progress of this, and other Triangle of Care initiatives.
For further information, or to be kept updated on progress of Triangle of Care, please contact Karen Martin, Mental Health Development Coordinator, Carers Trust Scotland, Email, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 123 2008.
Carers Trust Scotland, Skypark 3, Suite 1-2, 14-18 Elliot Pl, Glasgow, G3 8EP.
Tel: 0300 123 2008 email: email@example.com web: www.carers.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/carers Twitter: @CarersTrustScot