The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England
The triangle_of_care_2016_latest_version.pdf 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.
There are a wealth of good practice examples cited in the Triangle of Care guide, these are held on the RCN Virtual Ward (with even more not listed). The RCN site has had a recent revamp, the link for the Virtual Ward can now be found here in the Triangle of Care and Family Carers sections: http://www2.rcn.org.uk/development/mental_health_virtual_ward
The Triangle of Care for Young Carers and Young Adult Carers, A Guide for Mental Health Professionals
The Triangle of Care programme has identifed that many frontline staff are unaware of who young carers are and what their needs are. Thanks to the support of NHS England, Carers Trust has produced a supplementary resource to support staff to understand the needs of young and young adult carers, what the challenges are to identifying them and how to overcome them. The resource supports the wider implementation of the Triangle of Care and works to ensure that all carers are included and supported by mental health services.
You can download a copy of the resource here: Triangle of Care for Young and Young Adult Carers
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.
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.