Good Practice

Triangle of Care Membership Scheme in England

Resource title: Triangle of Care Membership Scheme in England
Published: 2020    Author: Carers Trust

The Triangle of Care membership scheme was developed by Carers Trust and is aimed at mental health providers. The Triangle of Care describes a therapeutic relationship between the patient, staff member and carer that promotes safety, supports communication and sustains wellbeing.

Key points

  • How to become a member of the Triangle of Care.
  • A list of current Trusts signed up to the Triangle of Care and what stage they are at.

About the membership scheme

The original Triangle of Care guide was launched in July 2010 by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now Carers Trust) and the National Mental Health Development Unit to highlight the need for better involvement of carers and families in the care planning and treatment of people with mental ill-health.

The Triangle of Care was developed to address the clear evidence from carers that they need to be listened to and consulted more closely.

The Triangle of Care membership scheme is a three stage recognition process for services who commit to self-assessing their existing services and action planning to ensure the Triangle of Care standards are achieved. The membership scheme is not a kitemark scheme that shows work has ended but recognises long-term commitment from mental health providers who are working towards cultural change.

Carers Trust has developed a simple membership scheme and application process. 

What does being a member mean?

When a mental health trust joins the Triangle of Care membership scheme, it is committing to changing the culture of its organisation to one that is carer inclusive and supportive. It does this by completing self-assessment for all its services in partnership with carers. It then works on what needs to change to ensure carers are part of the core business of the trust.

What do the stars mean?

Trusts that join the membership scheme and complete the appropriate stages for their organisation receive an award to recognise their commitment. For mental health trusts this is up to two stars and for trusts that are integrated there is a third star. 

  1. They receive the first for completing stage one (self-assessing all inpatient and crisis teams) and then committing to improve.
  2. The second star is for completing self-assessments for all of their community services. This is all mental health, learning disability, older people and dementia and substance misuse services.
  3. Trusts which are integrated (provide community physical health services), receive a third star if they complete self-assessment in all of their physical health services.

The stars do not signify that member trusts are fully carer inclusive. They are awarded when the trust has demonstrated a commitment to becoming more carer inclusive, has shown honesty about where it is now and planned where it needs to be to ensure carers are better identified and supported.

The documents you will need to join the membership scheme

  • Membership Guidance Notes.
  • Triangle of Care Membership Scheme Application Form.
  • Submission Report Template.
  • Six Monthly Update Report Template.
  • Carers Questionnaire.
  • Step-by-step Guide to Completing Self-Assessments.

A number of organisations provide services that the existing Triangle of Care self-assessment would not be suitable for. These services fall into two categories:

  1. Limited contact services (for example Liaison Psychiatry).
  2. Community Health Services (for example District Nursing).

As such, we have developed some additional guidance to help these services implement the Triangle of Care as well as a universal self-assessment tool.

Mental health providers are recommended to use the Triangle of Care Implementation Toolkit to ensure all elements required for successful implementation are in place, you can find full information in The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England.

As a requirement of membership, mental health providers must have carer partners who will act as critical friends to the process. Carers Trust has developed guidance to support carers and carer organisations to act as critical friends and the process to be as successful and positive as possible - The Triangle of Care Toolkit – A Resource for Carers and Carer Organisations to Act as Critical Friends.


  • Triangle of Care Implementation Toolkit.
  • The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in England.
  • The Triangle of Care Toolkit – A Resource for Carers and Carer Organisations to Act as Critical Friends.
  • Triangle of Care Guidance for Limited Contact Services.
  • Triangle of Care Guidance for Community Health Services.
  • Triangle of Care Self -Assessment Tool for Community Health Services.

Mental Health Trusts which have joined the Triangle of Care Membership Scheme (updated March 2018) are:

New members undertaking Stage One:

  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.
  • Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Southern Healthcare.

Members that have completed Stage One and are currently undertaking Stage Two:

  • Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford District Care Foundation Trust
  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Livewell South West
  • Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Trust
  • West London Mental Health NHS Trust.

Trusts that have completed Stages One and Two:

  • 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
  • Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mersey Care NHS Trust
  • Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

Trusts that have completed Stages One, Two and Three:

  • Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.