Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised by the Carers Trust for its commitment to local people caring for loved ones with health problems, as part of a national campaign running from today until 14 June.
The Trust has been awarded a gold star for its efforts in promoting the ‘Triangle of Care’, a set of standards for how mental health services should identify, welcome, involve and support carers. The Trust is now taking the opportunity during Carers Week, 8 – 14 June 2015, to help raise awareness of the importance of caring and highlight some of the challenges local carers face.
"the backbone of support for patients"
Carers, often unpaid family members or friends, are the backbone of support for patients and, for many people, the carer is their lifeline without whom they would not be able to cope. Yet for many carers the decision to care can mean a commitment to future poverty and poor health. Some give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights to become a carer.
Research also shows that many carers’ health suffers as they put all their energy into looking after someone who is ill, often neglecting their own physical and mental health.
Derbyshire Healthcare wants to support the work of these unsung heroes, and in 2013 pledged to implement the Triangle of Care. As a result of the Trust’s progress towards meeting the Triangle of Care’s six standards and ensuring that all carers are fully included and supported when the person they care for is using the Trust’s services, Derbyshire Healthcare has been awarded the gold star.
The Triangle of Care’s six standards are:
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) responsible for carers are in place.
A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the care pathway.
A range of carer support services is available.
One of the key standards that Derbyshire Healthcare were praised for was the information and resources available and for reaching out to carers throughout the last year by partnering with local support agencies such as north and south Derbyshire mental health carers forums, Derbyshire Carers Association, Making Space and Think Carer. The Trust was also commended for the number of Carers Champions deployed across the Trust who support colleagues to engage with carers and are available to be contacted if carers need someone to speak to.
This year’s nationwide focus for Carers Week is on building carer friendly communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.
Wendy Slater, Carers Lead for Derbyshire Healthcare, said: “We are very proud that the Trust has received a gold star as part of the Triangle of Care initiative. Our support and inclusion of carers is something we feel very strongly about and we very much hope to continue developing our relationships with patients and carers in the future.
“We are well aware that 8 in 10 carers say that looking after a disabled, older or seriously-ill friend or relative has had a negative impact on their personal health. Three-quarters of all carers also struggle to get the recommended amount of sleep and nearly half of carers struggle to make ends meet financially. This Carers Week, Derbyshire Healthcare is aiming to promote the important work of unpaid carers, recognise the health impacts caring can have and offer them the best help and support possible.”