Trust awarded second star accreditation for Carers Trust's Triangle of Care programme

21 June 2023

Southern Health NHS Foundation is delighted to announce it has achieved star 2 as part of the Triangle of Care accreditation process through the Carers Trust, for its work with families and carers of patients experiencing mental health illnesses.

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Developed by the Carers Trust, the Triangle of Care membership scheme is aimed at mental health providers and encourages the provision of a therapeutic relationship between the patient, staff member and carer that promotes safety, supports communication and sustains wellbeing. In order for a mental health trust to achieve star 2 status, it must not only have completed the self-assessment for inpatient wards and crisis services, but also provision of support within community mental health.

In awarding Southern Health star 2 accreditation, Sharon Spurling, Triangle of Care Lead for the Carers Trust said “I am delighted to be working with Southern Health as they focus on giving carers greater recognition and support in their communities by delivering Carers Trust's Triangle of Care programme. The programme is promoting a set of standards that brings together unpaid carers, service users and staff as partners in care.  This includes unpaid carers being identified and supported and Southern Health’s membership of the Triangle of Care promotes this work.

Kerry Hearsey, Chief Executive of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire said “From reading the report, it is clear to see the commitment that Southern Health have towards partnership working with Carers and the six principles that sit at the core of the Triangle.  The progress you have made alongside your future plans will ensure that Carers are embedded into all teams and services across the Trust.”

Paula Hull, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, and executive sponsor for Triangle of Care at Southern Health explained how the Trust had managed to achieve this. “Our Carers Leads have been paving the way for supporting our staff to embed the crucial Triangle of Care principles which aims towards stronger collaboration between staff, service users, and their carers and families. This star 2 award recognises the progress the Trust has made towards this goal, and while there is always more to be done for and with carers and families, we are very proud of our work to date and achieving our second star.”

The Trust has managed to achieve this, not only via the introduction of carers leads, but also by employing dedicated carer support workers, like Ben Townsend, who presented the carers communication plan to the judging panel, something they now want to adopt and share as best practice. 

Sandra, a carer who has been supported by Ben was clear about the impact the triangle of care had on her relationship with her husband and the healthcare professionals.  “you, as a carer, play an equally important part in the carer of your loved one as the service does. I do know a lot about my loved one which can help him get better, so please do listen to what I have to say and take it on board as it is as equally important – and let’s work together as partners in the caring relationship.

Sandra and Ben have recorded a podcast about their relationship as carer and carer support worker and hope that others can learn about the importance of the triangle of care through their experience.

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