Triangle of Care

CarersTrust_ToC_Member2Stars_Logo_RGB.jpgWhat is the Triangle of Care? 

‘Triangle of Care’ is a national initiative launched by the Carers Trust. This initiative promotes the importance of involving carers, alongside service users and staff. We acknowledge the importance of this initiative and are working hard to embed the Triangle of Care standards. If you would like to read more about Triangle of Care, further information can be found on the Carers Trust website

By signing up to the Triangle of Care membership scheme, mental health trusts must undertake rigorous self-assessments and develop action plans to demonstrate how they are involving and supporting carers as well as promoting the important role, they have and further improving services for carers.

The Triangle of Care was initially developed to improve mental health acute services by adopting six principles. It is widely accepted that these key principles can be applied to all service areas. Find out what we are doing in relation to each principle below.

As part of initial assessments, and throughout their time with our services, service users will be asked to identify their family members and friends (carers) who offer them support. These carers will be recorded within the service users’ records as part of a Carers Communication Plan.

The service user will also be asked their preferences on sharing information with their carers and carers will be asked their preferences for communication (for example, preferred time of day, preferred methods). Even if a service user prefers for certain details to not be shared with their carers, carers can still be contacted, offered generic advice and information and listened to.

All staff will attend the Triangle of Care training.

Initially the training was developed and completed across Adult Mental Health services during 2019-2020.

The training was then re-developed alongside carers and carers leads (staff) to provide a more inclusive package for all services. The training is often co-facilitated alongside carers so that staff can learn from them too as experts by experience. 

We have in place policies surrounding confidentiality and information sharing.

Service users are asked their preferences regarding information sharing with the carers. This may range from nothing at all, to everything, with various options in between. For example, there may be certain pieces of information that service users would prefer not to share, but everything else is ok to share. For further information, click here

We also have a Carers Confidentiality Booklet which aligns with our policies and provides more detail about what we can and cannot share with carers, families and friends. In any case of service users consenting or not consenting to share information with carers, staff can still listen and provide general information about our services and where they can go to get help, support and advice for themselves.

Although all staff members are responsible for carers, we have defined posts within the teams to act as an advocate or champion for working with carers within their teams. We have developed a Carers and Carers Leads Network, where both carers and our carers leads can collaborate, share experiences, insights and advice.

If you would like to get involved with our Carers and Carers Leads Network, please contact  to find out more.

Additionally, some services have developed Carer Peer Support Worker, Carer Support Worker or Carer Liaison Worker roles within their teams. These roles are exclusively to support carers. They can feedback crucial collateral information from carers into the service user’s clinical care team, and they can feedback and support the carers too.

We are developing booklets for each service to act as an introduction to the service, specifically for carers. The information provided in each booklet will vary depending on the service and/or team. The booklets are created in collaboration with the service/team and carers whose family members/friends have accessed that service.

The current carers booklets can be found here.

Alongside making carer support more readily available within our services through signposting and refferals, we have developed a toolkit to enable services to set up Carer Support groups across the Trust in collaboration with Andover Mind. Initially, the toolkit was being developed and piloted within the Mid and North Hampshire area that covers Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover - see our flyer for information.

For further carer support services within Southern Health and third sector organisations can be found here.

Where the Triangle of Care was developed with Adult Mental Health Services in mind as part of the accreditation process, and the Trust is keen to develop a strong culture of working closely with carers, families and friends across all services, we have developed four Trust standards in response to the six core principles to act as a framework.

  • Carers Leads to advocate and champion work with carers, families and friends in all teams
  • Triangle of Care training available for all staff to complete
  • Carers Booklets for all services to act as an introduction to the service, jargon buster, and signposting to help, advice and support
  • Carers Communication Plans which staff use to develop a strong relationship with carers, it covers: how and when staff should make contact with the carer, the crucial collateral information that carers can provide to staff, and the carers needs in terms of advice, information, support and signposting.

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