Are you a carer? A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. A carer can be anyone: an adult; parent; young person; elderly person or a child. Many carers do not see themselves as a carer, for them the caring relationship is simply part of normal everyday life. Carers of all ages told us that they want to be involved and informed but also want us to recognise that their caring role can have an impact on their own health and wellbeing. What’s in place to support you? The Trust is a member of the UK’s Carers Trust Triangle of Care membership scheme which recognises carers as key partners in the planning and provision of mental health care. This was initially developed by the Carers Trust to improve mental health acute services by adopting six principles. Wards, crisis teams and community teams are now working to apply these principles within services. It aims to promote safety and recovery for people with mental health issues and to encourage their wellbeing by including and supporting their carers. What are the standards? The six principles: Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter. Staff are carer aware and trained in carer engagement strategies. Policy and practice protocols regarding confidentiality and sharing information are in place. Defined post(s) (referred to within teams as carer champions) are in place. A carer introduction to the service and staff is available with a relevant range of information across the acute care pathway. A range of carer support services is available along with a self-assessment tool. The Triangle of Care can deliver many benefits including: Recognition for you as a carer. This can help you feel that you are taken seriously. An appreciation of your unique knowledge about the person you care for. Information about the person you care for including their illness, medication and prognosis. Emotional and practical support, recognising and supporting you to have a life of your own alongside your caring role. Assistance with care planning and knowing who to contact in a crisis or emergency. Helping you to feel part of a team and less isolated. Helping you feel stronger, more resilient and better able to cope with caring. More information on Triangle of Care is available. Our partner organisations As a carer, you could be entitled to support from the local authority of the person you’re caring for. You can call them and request a carers assessment. More information about carers assessments is available. Find your Local Authority adult social care services. National carer organisations Mind www.mind.org.uk Carers Trust www.carers.org Carers UK www.carersuk.org Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) www.citizensadvice.org.uk What can carers do? If you would like to get involved and have your views heard, you can do this by: Joining a carers organisation. Attending events, groups and meetings. Providing feedback by completing questionnaires. Become a member of the Trust. Register with the involvement and engagement team. If you have concerns about care provided you can contact the patient advice and liaison service (PALS) team who can advise and support carers. They can be contacted on telephone 0800 052 0219 or mobile 07775 518086. As a carer if you would like to get involved or would like more information about how patients and carers can help us to improve the quality of our services, contact the involvement and engagement team on telephone 01642 516468.