Information for carers, family, and friends

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support

A carer may provide practical or emotional support, they may reside with the person they care for, or they may not. Not everyone thinks of themselves as a carer, but they may well be and may be able to get financial or practical help.

Supporting someone who is experiencing emotional distress can be rewarding, but it can sometimes also be challenging or lonely especially if you are juggling other responsibilities or have health needs of your own It is important you are able to receive support in your caring role in order to prevent your own physical and mental health deteriorating.  Having good information at the right time and knowing where to get help and support can make all the difference. Please see our support for carers and support for young carers for further information about how to access support and guidance regarding your caring role.

We are committed to informing, involving and supporting carers, family members and friends as partners in the care of people using our services. We are Gold Star members of the Carers’ Trust’s Triangle of Care membership scheme that promotes shared working between carers, professionals and people using services.

The Triangle of Care

The Triangle of Care (ToC) membership scheme promotes shared working between carers, professionals and people using services.

The Triangle of Care (ToC) membership scheme promotes partnership working between carers, professionals and people using services. It sets out how they can work together to support recovery, promote safety and maintain wellbeing

It was developed by carers and supporting staff to improve the support carers receive from health and social care services and can be applied within all healthcare environments but originated from mental health acute inpatient services.

The Trusts uses the ToC as a framework to track progress against the 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 regarding 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.

In addition to the above, there also needs to be regular assessing and auditing to ensure these six key standards of carer engagement exist and remain in place.

The Triangle of Care programme has shown that many frontline staff are unaware of who young carers are and their needs. Carers Trust has produced a supplementary resource to help staff understand the needs of young and young adult carers, the challenges to identifying them and how to overcome them.

Trust awarded Stage 2 status

In 2021 we were one of the first Trusts to receive Stage 2 of the Triangle of Care membership scheme. We recognise the valuable role that carers, family members and friends have as partners in the care of people using our services and continue to work with carers and carers organisations to improve and develop the support that we provide to carers, friends and families of people accessing our services.