December 2nd, 2013
To ensure carers are listened to and consulted more closely in Surrey and North East Hampshire, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation has adopted the Triangle of Care. The concept was created by carers and mental health staff, working with the Carers Trust, to improve carer engagement.
Fiona Edwards, Chief executive of Surrey and borders, said: ‘It is vitally important that we recognise carers as partners in care both to involve them in decision making as much as we can and to make sure their needs and rights are considered at every step on the journey to recovery.
The Triangle of Care is a rigorous programme designed to set out our intention to support carers and to hold us to account on how well we do that. I’m delighted to sign our Trust up as a member to make sure carers’ needs are at the heart of what we do.’
The programme focuses on improving standards in six key areas. In particular it identifies the need for staff to quickly identify who the carer or carers are. This is because carers often know crucial information about their caree and can help staff draw up a more accurate assessment plan.
Making sure carers are part of the care planning and treatment process is crucial for the long term success of caring for people with mental ill health, as is ensuring staff are well trained in carers’ rights. As part of the agreement with the Carers Trust, Surrey and Borders Partnership will be assessing each of its community and mental health services against 39 criteria.
‘Whilst this is certainly good news,’ adds Jane Thornton, CEO Action for Carers Surrey, ‘it’s still first steps and there is some way to go yet before the Trust meets the requirements of the Triangle of Care. We do welcome the Trust’s commitment to make this happen, however, and look forward to working more closely with them to improve support for carers within their organisation.’