The challenging lives of carers of people living with dementia could be transformed if a guide being launched in Parliament today was implemented and followed everywhere, says Carers Trust and Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
Salford and Eccles Labour MP Hazel Blears, vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, will host an event to launch the Triangle of Care for dementia guide which demonstrates how dementia care can be improved.
The Triangle of Care for dementia builds on a model developed by Carers Trust, working in partnership with the RCN and funded through the RCN Foundation Grants Programme.
The guide was co-designed with carers, people with dementia and practitioners and with the support of Dementia UK’s Uniting Carers network. It sets out six key standards to improve the care of people living with dementia by achieving better collaboration between them, the carer and the health professional.
MPs, health and social care professionals, and carers, will hear how the model can be used to support carers of people with dementia in general hospital settings.
They include Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, both in Mrs Blears’ constituency, and who are leading good practice.
This work has been supported by Carers Trust and by the RCN as part of its ‘Transforming dementia care in hospitals’ programme, which highlights the importance of working in partnership with carers.
Research by Carers Trust has found that carers of people with dementia are not being adequately supported at critical points in their caring role, which has resulted in a negative impact on the people they are caring for. While the evidence has also shown that involving them in their support can make a real difference to the person being cared for.
Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust said: “By involving carers, patients and professionals in the event we hope to demonstrate the benefits of the Triangle of Care model to people with dementia and the professionals caring for them.
“Since Carers Trust created the Triangle of Care, we have seen how it can make a significant difference to carers and the quality of care provided to the person they care for. Building on this progress, the partnership between Carers Trust and the Royal College of Nursing has been incredibly positive and we hope that this can be replicated across health services with nurses and carers working as partners”.
Ms Blears, whose mother Dorothy has dementia, said: “Carers are usually family members or close friends of people with dementia, so they understand them better than anyone.
“Doctors and nurses should therefore work closely with both carers and dementia patients to ensure they have all the information they need to provide the best possible care and treatment.
“This will also help them to provide the right help and support for carers, who do a wonderful job in caring for their loved ones, and in doing so, relieve the burden on the NHS.
“The Triangle of Care is a great way of ensuring staff, patients and carers talk to one another in all hospitals and I am delighted that Salford Royal has been leading the way in adopting this best practice.”
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, said: “We are very pleased to see this excellent
piece of work officially launched in Parliament. When people with dementia go into hospital, it is essential that their carers not only feel included and involved in their care, but play an integral role in it.
“Carers often have their own needs and should be offered information and support. They also have a lot to offer health care staff, as they are often the ones who know the person best. No one is better placed to advise on a person’s needs and how their dementia affects them than a carer who has known them for years.”