Carers recognised as key to improving health care
Local NHS organisations have made a firm commitment to strengthening the ways in which they support and involve carers of those accessing health services.
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) have signed up to the Triangle of Care scheme which champions the role of carers in health care settings and at home. It uses the relationship between carers, service users and professionals to promote safety, recovery and wellbeing by improving communication between all three.
Carers have a unique understanding of the needs of the person they care for and are often the only constant in that person’s journey; they are there when the person is unwell, well or needs support. This makes them a vital partner in care and their input can be invaluable. By recognising this, the service user will receive better care and support on their journey to recovery.
Signing up to the Triangle of Care is the first step to ensure all health professionals are carer aware. Teams will soon start to evaluate how well they currently support and involve carers against six principles before developing plans to improve.
Julie Taylor, Senior Quality and Safety Manager at CPFT, initiated the application of the Triangle of Care and is passionate about the role of carers:
“I’m really excited that we’ve signed up to the Triangle of Care initiative. It’s a sign of how committed we are to getting things right for carers and recognising the role they play in someone’s health journey. We know we have a lot of work to do but this gives all teams the chance to step back and look at what’s going well and what they can do better to support and include carers who play a vital role in care provision.
“Carers should never have to fight to get their voices heard; they should be involved from the start. The role that they play is crucial and I believe that championing this will lead to better care for all.”
Georgia Wright, Head of Nursing, Patient Experience at NCUH, added:
“The triangle of care is a really simple idea but it can make a huge difference. While health professionals focus on the needs of the patient sometimes the carer can be forgotten. By ensuring all staff are aware of the vital role that carers play we can learn from carers and improve the care we provide.”
The Triangle of Care is led by the Carers Trust and was initially developed in 2010 for carers of those with mental health problems. It is now recognised that the principles can be applied to all areas of health care to improve care planning and treatment for all.
The North Cumbria Health and Care system is working closer together to provide more seamless care for patients. The development of Integrated Care Communities recognises that health and care professionals don’t have all the answers and champions the role of service users, carers and local communities in improving services for the future. This will be developed through co-production and initiatives such as the Triangle of Care allow everyone to have their voice heard.
More information about the Triangle of Care is available here: https://carers.org/article/triangle-care