What is the Triangle of Care?
Carers are recognised as vital partners in mental health care and the Triangle of Care approach was developed by the Carers Trust (a registered charity) to improve carer engagement in mental health services.
The concept of a Triangle, with service user, carer and mental health professional working together was proposed to promote carers as active partners to give the best chance of recovery.
The Triangle of Care Best Practice Guidance published in July 2010 sets out six key elements (standards) to achieve better collaboration and partnership working with carers in the service user’s journey through mental health services. Mental Health Trusts have been working towards meeting these standards and a membership scheme was introduced in recognition of this commitment.
The six key standards state that:
- Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Staff are ‘carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies.
- Policy and practice protocols re: confidentiality and sharing information are in place.
- Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place.
- A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the care pathway.
- A range of carer support services is available.
There will be regular assessments and audits to ensure that the six standards are met and remain in place.