The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England
The The Triangle of Care can be used across all mental health services, not only inpatient, and includes a universal self-assessment tool as well as guidance notes. In addition the guide now includes good practice examples from across the mental health care pathway. Although the Triangle of Care uses the language of mental health with a little imagination it can easily be used in children's, older people's, learning disability and substance misuse services.
The Triangle of Care guide was launched in July 2010 as a joint piece of work between Carers Trust and the National Mental Health Development Unit, emphasizing the need for better local strategic involvement of carers and families in the care planning and treatment of people with mental ill-health.
The Triangle of Care approach was developed by carers and staff to improve carer engagement in acute inpatient and home treatment services. The guide outlines key elements to achieving this as well as examples of good practice. It recommends better partnership working between service users and their carers, and organisations.
Carers Strategy refresh
The guide received further validation when it was included in the Carers Strategy refresh in November 2010 and No Health without Mental Health in February 2011. The Triangle of Care was included as a clear action in Closing the Gap 2014, the government’s mental health action plan. In addition we have had enquiries from as far away as New Zealand about how to go about adopting the Triangle of Care standards in their services.
The guide includes a wealth of good practice examples, these have been shared by organisations to enable faster and wider carer involvement and support. These and many other good practice examples are available on the Royal College of Nursing’s Virtual Ward – in the Triangle of Care and carers and families sections.
You can see Ruth Hannan, (Triangle of Care lead for England) talking about what the Triangle of Care is and how it benefits carers, service users and professionals alike.
England Regional Groups
Regional groups have been established in all parts of England; the majority of NHS mental health providers and over 30 third sector carers’ organisations are involved. The group works in partnership to share good practice and problem solve to work towards implementing the Triangle of Care standards in mental health services. A number of group members have taken the next step to formally embed Triangle of Care in their services by joining the membership scheme. You can find out if your local NHS mental health provider has joined here.
If your organisation is interested in joining your regional group please email the project lead Ruth Hannan firstname.lastname@example.org.