Carers are a vital part of a patient’s mental health care journey and are there when a patient is well, in crisis or needs support with day-to-day activities.
In recognition of this crucial role, staff working in inpatient mental health services have joined with carers and carers groups from across Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross to establish a group which is working towards implementing the ‘Triangle of Care’.
Developed by mental health staff and carers, Triangle of Care is a set of six national standards which aim to ensure a more equal balance of communication and involvement between those who use mental health services, their carers and staff working in the services.
The standards include identifying carers as soon as possible after contact with a patient, ensuring staff are aware of carers’ roles and how to engage with them, ensuring appropriate protocols are in place for sharing patient information. It also includes having dedicated staff, relevant information and a range of support services for carers.
The group has initially focused on developing an information pack, which will provide key pieces of information to support carers, staff and patients. The group is keen to develop this pack in a variety of formats.
The group also recently held its first open drop-in session in the reception at Carseview Centre to highlight the important role carers play in patients’ treatment and recovery, as well as to raise awareness of what a carer is and how agencies can offer support in a number of different ways.
Nurse Director for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Keith Russell attended the drop-in session and took the opportunity to chat to members of the group.
He said: “Carers have a hugely important role in supporting people with mental health problems and the carers group clearly has the passion and drive to make a positive impact for people by supporting the implementation of the Triangle of Care standards.”