How we support carers

Triangle of Care

The Triangle of Care is a self-assessment tool for mental health service providers developed by the Carers’ Trust. It’s based on the principle that care is improved by having good working relationships between the service user, the mental health professional and the carer.

It helps services think about how they can engage and support carers more effectively, and promote a ‘carer aware’ culture on our hospital wards and in our teams.

Dorset HealthCare is committed to the Triangle of Care, and has cemented that commitment by signing up to its audit process. This means the Carers’ Trust will monitor our progress in implementing these key elements:

  1. Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Staff are ’carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies.
  3. Policy and practice 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 relevant range of information across the acute care pathway.
  6. A range of carer support services is available.

We will update this page to keep you informed of our progress.

You can read more about the Triangle of Care at the Carers’ Trust by downloading the following guide: The Triangle of Care - Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England

Brief on Triangle of Care

The triangle of care is a model Dorset HealthCare has decided to adopt across the trust.

This is done in three stages and each stage is submitted to the Carers Trust who will award the stars/ accreditation.

Process of Triangle of Care

Stage 1: Inpatient and Crisis Services

Stage 2: CMHTs and CAMHS

Stage 3: Community Services

The stages involve completing a self-assessment and updating this yearly. This is RAG rated by the team, red, amber or green.


Four Key Stages:

Ø Complete Self-Assessment

Ø Collate Evidence for each section

Ø Develop Team action plan to develop Amber and Red areas

Ø Review self-assessment and develop action plans

We have been awarded our first star and now working with teams to submit stage 2 by November 2019 to gain our second star.

Over the last three years we have worked with 67 teams who have a carer lead (this role is to ensure the team are carer aware and work together when it comes to carers) they have all had carer awareness training in partnership with our carer peer specialists.

We have learning sets every quarter for carer leads to attend and this is a time to reflect where they are and give any national updates. We always have at least 55 people attend each time.

There is a steering group that meets quarterly and the membership is made up of carer leads, carer peer specialist Phil Morgan (Lead for Recovery and Social Inclusion) and Pat Wilkins(Carers Development Lead).

In our last CQC inspection it was the Triangle of Care was highlighted as good practice.

Carer's Passport

As a carer you can expect to be offered the opportunity, should you wish, to be with the person you care for at any time – and not be confined to normal visiting hours.

We now run a Carer's Passport scheme at all of our community hospitals.

Under the system, you can identify yourself on arrival and request a badge, or ‘passport’, which allows you to stay beyond regular visiting hours – providing reassurance and additional help for the person you are caring for.

The scheme is based on the national John’s Campaign, which aims to give carers of those living with dementia the right to stay with them in hospital. However, we have opened up our Carer's Passport scheme to all carers.

Please chat with any member of hospital staff to find out more. More details can also be found in our 'Information for carer's' leaflet.

Our community hospitals have signed up to John’s Campaign via this pledge.