Welcome back to another blog post from unpaid carer Matthew Mckenzie. I often blog about the situation many mental health carers face up and down the UK, however not only do i write about the caring journey, I get involved and take the initiative to network with many other unpaid carers supporting ‘loved ones’ with mental health needs.
I champion and praise many projects that work towards the good of the community, especially health care projects and the ones that take note of families and carers have my keen interest. One of these projects looks to create good practice and work towards culture change in regards to the carer journey. This policy is the called Triangle of Care, which I have blogged about a while back.
The triangle of care works towards bringing together unpaid carers, carers’ centres, third sector organisations and mental health service providers to work together to insure best practice for mental health services.
When I attend triangle of care meetings I am often amazed at the dedication and work that many NHS mental health service providers share with each other. The lastest triangle of care meeting was hosted by Kent and Medway NHS trust over at Dartford, we were joined by many other NHS trusts where some already were members, while other are working towards joining, we also were joined by other other carers and third party community charities.
As a carer, I learnt so much about the work mental health trusts were doing and i am impressed to see many london NHS trusts attend and share knowledge about the work they do including Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas, South West London St Georges, Surry & Boarders NHS Trust, Berkshire NHS trust, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and many more.
One of the strong points of The triangle of care is self-assessments for existing service provision, this was achieved by Kent and Medway two years ago and I have learnt that KMPT has been awared their second star for for completing self-assessments for all community services (all mental health, learning disability, older people and dementia and substance misuse services). I would like to offer my congratulations to Kent and Medway NHS trust and hope they keep building on their success.
You can learn more about KMPT from their site https://www.kmpt.nhs.uk/
Plus feel free to check out Kent & Medways work on the triangle of care below.
Another strong point of the triangle of care is principles. Principles are usually things people can often try and remember and the triangle of care has six.
These being :
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
More details can be found on the triangle of care below.
No one is saying such principles are easy to achieve and a lot of hard work and dedication has gone into culture change in the mental health services. We need input from all involved being staff, patient and carers.
You can learn more about the triangle of care here.
One thing I want to note is that every time I attend such meetings, I have always felt I managed to contribute as a carer, especially since I network and hold forums with other carers in South London, I feel us carers can work together and feel part of the system, rather than battling the system.
I look forward to the next Triangle of Care meeting hosted by South West London st Georges NHS trust.
One last thing to mention is we are due to hear some exciting news from the Royal College of Nursing and I hope carers will be a strong focus point in the work they will do.
I would like to thank KPMT for letting me use the photos and well done Kent and Medway NHS trust for their 2nd award.
Happy Nurses day 2019 everyone.