Tag Archives: triangle of care

Joint Southwark & Lambeth MH Carers forum March 2021

Welcome to the March 2021 update of the joint Southwark & Lambeth Mental Health carers forum. I know its a mouthfull of a title, but just consider its an open forum for those who care for someone suffering mental distress.

For the month of March, the guest invites were the following.

  • Jessica powell – Researcher from Imperial College London
  • Ros cumberbatch – South London & Maudsley NHS trust carer lead for Southwark
  • Annette Davis – Carer peer, activist and BAME carer support.
  • Claire Parry – Psychotherapist leading on trust psycho therapy
  • Debika – SLaM Assistant Psychologist for Family and Carers Support in Southwark

PRESENTATION FROM JESSICA POWELL

Jessica is currently carrying out a research project for her master’s at Imperial College London. The research she is doing aims to understand interactions between informal caregivers and their care receivers who are elderly. So an informal caregiver is someone who isn’t officially employed for their services that could be a family member, a friend. Jessica is currently looking at carers from 65 years and up, by having an understanding of these interactions with who they are looking after. The project aims is to understand and better implement features within digital systems that are currently being created for Geriatric Care roles. This being monitoring devices, health devices, etc.

So at this stage of her project, She is at the recruiting stage for the study, to understand interactions between the care receiver and the caregiver. Jessica is eagerly looking for participants who would be able to help her conduct a remote observation study or an interview. Within homes, She of course wouldn’t be visiting their homes personally. At this stage, she was there to see if there’s any issues in the forum that would be up to be involved or if there were any contacts or people she could be put in contact with, to participate in this study with her.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

I asked if the study was restricted to Tower Hamelets and has she had many participants so far?

Jessica responded that reaching out has been very difficult at the moment because of the pandemic, She has had a couple, but unfortunately, one of the participants passed away. And the second one wasn’t comfortable with the study. So she feels she has exhausted quite a few of her methods for recruiting people, which is why she is here today.

Members were interested in what care giver tasks Jessica was reffering to.

Jessica replied it was down to everyday tasks, e.g. administering medication, helping the care receiver to move around the home. So that could be from the bed to the wheelchair from that bed out of that bed and into a chair upstairs. It all could be defined in the study via a conversation.

Ros cumberbatch presents updates for MH Carers in Southwark

Ros explained she was the clinical service leads in SLaM in Southwark. She works with most staff in the recovery teams. She is also the carers lead for service as well. Ros was her to give us some updates and go through a few things aimed at carers. The first thing is she just wanted to mention that the SLaM Family and Carers Strategy is now in place. Ros was not sure if everyone would have seen that, but it has been agreed by the SLaM board and hopefully it will be circulated.

What services has been asked is for each borough (Lewisham, Lambeth, Croydon and Southwark) to localize the trust carer’s strategy and put things in place as a way of making sure that all teams are aware of the expectations. We need to work according to the carer strategy. Its based around the key thing about making sure that teams identify who carer is or was and making sure that engagement happens.

The aim is with SLaM’s carers strategy it will strengthen supporting carers along with the needs that carers require. Of course things SLaM cannot provide then carers will be signposted to relevant support and services. Ros pointed out that we need to make sure that teams are aware of various resources and in terms of staff we need to make sure that they’re trained, that they feel confident to work with carers, as well around different issues. Ros mentioned an ongoing issue which staff have often struggled with is around confidentiality.

Ros pointed out that it’s making sure that we those kind of discussions with staff, so they feel competent, in terms of when they have to work with unpaid carers. One of the ways that SLaM staff help to fulfill the things in the carers strategy is by having “Staff carer champions”, so these are staff members, who can be on an inpatient Ward or in a community team. They take on an additional role in terms of supporting and communicating and engaging with carers. However it’s not their sole responsibility, but they take the lead on carer engagement in terms of working with the team, to make sure that the teams are up to date with any needs around carers and making sure that team members are identifying carers and supporting them.

Ros also mentioned SLaM’s carer engagement and support plan, since it also strengthens support that carers have in conjunction with the Care Act 2014, so carer identification is not left the the Local authority alone.

Annette Davis presents on carer initiatives.

Annette wanted to give everybody a little bit of information about herself and how she engages with mental health services. She feels as a carer it is important to try and give something back. I think it’s really important that in her ‘cared for’s journey and her own journey that she has become more involved in a number of carer groups and that she feels that it’s been so beneficial to be involved in quite of these carer few groups. Annette co-facilities one of the carer groups with SLaM’s inpatient carer lead.

Annette continued to mention that if you have a loved one that’s on an inpatient Ward, as a carer, you’d would be welcome to come and attend the carer peer support she co-facilitates. It is a very confidential space where carers get to kind of unload and express how they’re feeling and how they’re managing with their loved ones being in hospital. The numbers of carers attending are constantly increasing, which is really exciting and it is also an opportunity for us to also learn new skills and learn the role of a carer which is forever changing.

Annette is also involved with the SLaM “step team” which is a Southwark team on Early invention where they identify and also help support carers, because she feels since she has been through that journey there is so much to share. Annette is aware many carers are in desperate situations, but as carers we should not have to cope in isolation.

Claire Parry – Psychotherapist presents on new psychotherapy projects

Claire felt that it was amazing how carers networked and formed groups together and felt that’s what it should be as it’s real inspiration to other carers looking for empowerment and a special connection. Claire was thinking that other london boroughs could learn from the model of what we are doing and how we doing it.

Clarire was going to tell the carers forum a little bit about what her role currently is, and the new role that she is going to be sort of stepping into, She has worked in mental health for probably about 27 years, and I started off her career as an Occupational Therapist. So it’s really nice to see Ross because actually, Claire has worked with Ross several years ago, where during that time, she worked in inpatient services and Community Services, Claire has also worked in addiction services. Plus she worked in a family intervention service which was also a great service as well as working in therapy services.

Claire found it really hard to focus on a kind of individual model and she was thinking, it just doesn’t make sense to her that we don’t understand people in their relationships, in their communities, in their contexts. So it really didn’t make sense to her that over the years, we have had only little bits of individual models, and that we haven’t really thought about how do we include individuals, communities, networks, families, in a much more inclusive co-produced way. So she kind of retrained as a family therapist, but that it’s still means that its not open to everyone.

Alongside her clinical work, she has just taken on a new post from somebody called Isabel Ekdawi who was a kind of a trust advisor around family therapy and family inclusive practice. So she is going to be stepping into that post in June, but she knows from Isabel worked very hard to think about how the trust can embed family inclusiveness into the NHS trust culture. This is so families are seen as a resource and that families are part of the dialogue, especially at times of change, so maybe at transitions into services. Claire mentioned how Isabel was very passionate about the this kind of model, and so she herself has become passionate through how we in a really meaningful way start to kind of embed more of a family inclusive practice at the NHS Trust.

Claire felt that sometimes it’s about dialogue and trying things out. She wanted to have a little bit of a focus group with everyone at this joint Southwark & Lambeth forum to hear people’s experiences and stories and think about where are the points of transition that are really difficult? And what, from a kind of psychotherapy perspective, can we think about doing a little bit differently? And what what are the things that might make a difference? She is also excited about the triangle of care, because she thinks the triangle of care is really setting a framework to think about how do we work in collaboration. On the back of the triangle of care, there’s some fantastic work that other trusts have done, e.g. an NHS trust in Somerset was given as an example.

Joint Southwark & Lambeth MH Carers forum January 2021

Welcome to the January Southwark & Lambeth joint Mental Health carer forum. The forum is aimed at carers who are caring for someone with mental illness, but they want to understand what mental health services are planning and also what carers can get access to.

For the speakers for this forum, were as follows.

Josh Simpkins – Lambeth Carers

David Meyrick – SLaM Southwark inpatient ward carer lead – Triangle of Care

Karen Persaud – Carer rep for the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Yasmin from Lambeth Black Thrive

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Well done to Alan Worthington – Triangle of Care

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.

Alan Worthington – Founder of 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.

Triangle of Care Logo

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.
Southern Healthcare.
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.

Triangle of Care – Learning from each other

Giving helpWelcome 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.

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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.

meeting

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.

https://www.kmpt.nhs.uk/carers/triangle-of-care/

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.

https://carers.org/article/triangle-care

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.

meeting 2

Triangle of care – Excellent NHS carer engagement

10177241_747738765268892_5890142387668348507_nIt has been a while since I blogged off my site, almost a month now. Still I have been very busy, lots going on and still lots to do. I run 4 carer forums each month and am also an unpaid carer working part time and contributing to so much in the community.

Yet I am aware many unpaid carers supporting those with mental health needs cannot easily engage with services. This is one of the many reasons why I chose to write this post. I am an unpaid mental health carer in south london, and have been involved with the Triangle of Care at a high level. Due to the involvement I am proud to be part of such a successful initiative. My trust has not been part of the Triangle of Care scheme even though I battle on, but it has got me wondering.

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What would it be like to be a carer whose NHS Trust is part of the Triangle of Care scheme?

If you do not know about the Triangle of Care policy, let me enlighten you.

Taken from the Carers Trust website, which is national charity fighting for the rights of young carers and carers alike.

“The Triangle of Care guide was launched in July 2010 by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now Carers Trust) and the National Mental Health Development Unit to highlight the need for better involvement of carers and families in the care planning and treatment of people with mental ill-health.”

Many Mental health NHS trusts up and down the country have taken the challenge and value the needs not only of their patients/service users, but also unpaid carers who often can be forgotten in Trust Policy, let alone in government policy.

The triangle of care gives six standards

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.

I have mentioned such standards because there is a lot more to the Triangle of Care, but if you are not versed in policy then at least focus on the standards above.

So what could it be like being a carer linked to ToC?

If you are a carer whose mental health trust has signed or is working towards the triangle of care, I will list why it perhaps is a good thing.

1) You are lucky enough to have a trust working towards a national standard.
2) As a carer you can learn more about what your trust is doing for carers and their loved ones.
3) You can use these standards to protect your rights.
4) You have a mental health trust that can link into partner trusts all working together for the good of unpaid carers.
5) Standards that can be measured and assessed by others.
6) A mental health trust brave enough to change its culture on unpaid carers.
7) A way to hold mental health trusts to account on how it engages and provides services for carers.
8) Hidden issues that can be unraveled by triangle of care.

Obviously the list can go on and continue to go on, but an NHS trust that can put some resources to the Triangle of care should be held in high regard among carers.

I am not saying that the system is perfect, it is NOT a quick fix solution, especially in the era of NHS cuts, cuts to staff, cuts to community services and a lack of understanding in mental health. We are also living in a complex society where so much is demanded from us, be it Brexit, having to struggle for education, fragmentation in communities and the lack of volunteering since everyone wants to be better off.

All I am saying is if you are an unpaid carer thinking how can your NHS trust support, engage or value you, then please see what they are doing with the Triangle of Care.

Although the triangle of care is going through some changes. You can find out more about the Triangle of Care below.

https://professionals.carers.org/working-mental-health-carers/triangle-care-mental-health/triangle-care-membership-scheme

 

Avoiding being a Token Carer on involvement

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Welcome to another blog post by mental health carer from South London Matthew Mckenzie.  This blog post is about involvement and spotting the signs of tokenism.  Involvement grants Carers, patient and public to volunteer (paid or unpaid) their time to submit their views.  Usually Carers can attend meetings with mental health staff or attend workshops, perhaps event work on a project.  Most often involvement works out fine, but there will come a time when you as a carer will feel unimportant.

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Tips for Mental Health Professionals when dealing with carers

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I have decided to exercise my carers voice and produce 10 tips for mental health staff to take note of when working with carers. These are free for mental health professionals to explore and I have tried to keep them close to some of the aspects on Triangle of care from Carer’s Trust, which is an amazing piece of strategy geared towards supporting mental health carers.

 

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