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The Triangle of Care

What is the Triangle of Care  

The ‘Triangle of Care’ is a working collaboration, or “therapeutic alliance” between the service user, professional and carer that promotes safety, supports recovery and sustains well-being.

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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.

The six key principles:

  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 re 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 acute care pathway. 
  6. A range of carer support services is available along with a self-assessment tool.    


What does The Triangle of Care mean for carers? 

The Triangle of Care, led nationally by the Carers Trust, brings together many years of research with carers into what they feel will benefit them when involved with mental health services. It is based on six principles that mental health trusts can use to include and support carers. It explores what each principle means in practice and provides good practice examples. Although the examples are from England the principles apply to any mental health service provision. 

The Triangle of Care - Carers Included: A Best Practice Guide in Acute Mental Health Care aims to improve communication between those caring for people with a mental health problem and mental health professionals. The guide was developed in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing as well as people with mental health problems and their carers.

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.

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