Welcome back to my first blog post of 2021 and I have exciting news. I have just heard some days ago carer Alan Worthington got an OBE from the New Years honours. When I found this out, I was overjoyed. If you do not know who Alan Worthington is. Alan was instrumental in the creation of The Triangle of Care.
The Triangle of Care has been around for some time, I believe 2010. The Triangle of Care is a set of policies to involve families and carers in the decisions and care of those suffering mental ill health, especially inpatient settings on mental health hospitals.
With the support of national carer charity Carer’s Trust and National Mental Health Development Unit, Alan worked so hard to help implement the policy for mental health trusts.
When a mental health trust wants to sign up to the triangle of care, they need to self-assess how families and carers are involved and supported regarding mental health services. Once self assessment of services is complete then the trust can identify what needs to improve in comparison to the triangle of care’s six policies as in.
- Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Staff are “carer aware” and trained in carer engagement strategies.
- Policy and protocols re; confidentiality and sharing information are in place.
- Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place.
- A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the acute care pathway.
- A range of carer support services is available.
All too often carers can be shut out of the care for their loved ones as all too often Mental Health professionals get the last word. When things go wrong, people finally ask the question “What did you ask the carer about the situation”? It is like families and carers are screaming to be involved, but something is pushing them out.
The aim is to increase involvement and communication between patient, health professional and carer. As in the past all to often there has been an imbalance of communication. There have probably been dozen’s of involvement policies from a patient or MH professionals perspective, but with the triangle of care we get the family and carer influence.
Over the years many mental health trusts have rose up to the challenge and signed up for The Triangle of Care. Below is a list of some of the Mental Health NHS trusts who have signed up and are currently working with triangle of care.
Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Bradford District Care Foundation Trust
Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Livewell South West
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
Sussex Partnership NHS Trust
West London Mental Health NHS Trust.
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Mersey Care NHS Trust
Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.
It is with the hard work of Alan Worthington and Carer’s Trust that the triangle of care has made such a difference in families and carer’s lives. I myself as a carer activist got involved with the triangle of care because I felt so passionate about the cause. I certainly have to thank Ruth Hannan who inspired myself and others to make a difference and help shape the Triangle of care.
I would like to finish off stating that I am excited South London & Maudsley have taken the challenge to sign up to the Triangle of care and I look forward to see how they can set an example like other trusts currently on The Triangle of Care scheme. There is still much work to do and one should never fully rest on their laurels, but congratulations to Alan for all his achievements.
We can hope the triangle of care continues to work its magic for many across the country and that carers should always be counted.