St Andrew’s becomes the first mental health provider outside of the NHS to join Carers Trust scheme

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The Northampton mental health hospital has a dedicated Carers Centre, accommodation for visiting family, and offers support to family and friends of people in their care.

Supporting carers of those who are in hospital has been prioritised by St Andrew’s Healthcare which has become the first non-NHS mental health provider to join the Carers Trust's Triangle of Care accreditation scheme.

The Triangle of Care was launched in 2010 as a therapeutic alliance between carers, service users and staff. The scheme is based on six principles which health and care providers can use to include and support unpaid carers, staff and those receiving care.

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Rebecca Amena, St Andrew’s Patient and Carer Engagement Lead, explained: “The Triangle of Care is vitally important. It signifies our commitment to working together with service users and carers, as equal partners in care with a mutual respect for the knowledge and expertise each member of the triangle brings. By undertaking care planning and decision making together, we can achieve better outcomes for each patient. We want to ensure that carers are fully involved throughout the recovery journey and able to access support when they need it, and that all of our wards and staff value the vital role they play."

Outside of St Andrew's Carers CentreOutside of St Andrew's Carers Centre
Outside of St Andrew's Carers Centre

Sharon Spurling, Triangle of Care Programme Lead at the Carers Trust, said: "We were delighted that St Andrew’s Healthcare joined the Carers Trust Triangle of Care membership as its first mental health provider from the charitable sector.

“Embedding the principles of the Triangle of Care will certainly support St Andrew’s Healthcare to develop a culture of engagement in all aspects of their delivery. Their clear commitment and senior leadership buy-in will build understanding between carers, staff teams and service users or patients."

The 6 standards that St Andrew’s will be assessed on are:

1: Carers, and the essential role they play, are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter

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Triangle of Care logoTriangle of Care logo
Triangle of Care logo

2. Staff are carer aware, and trained in carer engagement strategies

3. Policy and practice protocols regarding confidentiality and sharing information are in place

4. Defined posts responsible for carers are in place

5. A carer introduction to each service is available, with a relevant range of information across the care pathway

Inside St Andrew's Carers CentreInside St Andrew's Carers Centre
Inside St Andrew's Carers Centre

6. A range of carer support services are available

Rebecca continued: "The Triangle of Care is an improvement journey that promotes more effective care and better clinical outcomes. This is because health and care professionals, those receiving care and unpaid carers, are all working together in a three-way partnership, recognising and valuing each other as equal partners in care.”

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