by Rachel Murnaghan Carer, Involvement Volunteer & Service User
At the end of April I spent a fantastic day at The Nottingham Involvement Centre with staff and carers across the Trust. It was an interesting collaboration and the purpose was to look at the self assessments forms which give a snapshot of where we are at the moment in our work across the Trust and how our teams are involving carers, families and friends. The Triangle of Care approach was developed by carers and staff to improve carer involvement in inpatient and home treatment services as well as giving examples of good practice. It recommends better partnership working between service users and their carers, and organisations.
There are six standards to achieve.
1) Carers are identified at first contact or as soon as possible.
2) Staff are ‘carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies.
3) Policy and 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 range of information across the care pathway.
6) A range of carer support services is available.
I really enjoyed the sharing of best practice and the good work done by our Trust teams to date. This boost for staff morale should encourage them into their future work with carers.
During the day I heard about how teams such as the Crisis Team for CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) and the gender clinic are working with carers and their families.
We looked at some of the familiar themes coming up in the self assessments. Issues carers want to improve include support and communication with carers, lack of training for staff and how we need to share the news that we have Trust Staff Carer Champions who are leading on how we work with carers.
More work is still needed on guidance around policies and what information staff can share with carers. There is a new guide coming out soon about this. Sometimes it seems there is little support and compassion for carers and suitable signposting to other services.
Some carers like to use websites and they are a great idea to keep the information up to date but don’t forget those who can’t use technology. There are still issues for our Trust staff knowing about who provides carers assessments and their information isn’t always up to date.
I just wanted to share a short part of what was a very busy day. We have carers involved in the decision making processes and I felt really positive at the end. We have made a good start to including carers, families and friends across the Trust