Good Practice

Triangle of Care: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in Scotland

Resource title: Triangle of Care: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care in Scotland, Third Edition
Published: 2019    Author: Karen Martin, Carers Trust Scotland

Triangle of Care principles translate across many different specialisms and fields in mental health. They are based upon the core principle that carers, people who use services and professionals should work in equal partnership to promote safety, support recovery and sustain wellbeing.

Key points

  • The Triangle of Care is an alliance between the service user, staff member and carer.
  • Better recognition that carers are key partners in mental health through using Triangle of Care is an investment in safety, quality and continuity of care at relatively little financial cost.
  • The Triangle of Care approach encourages partnership working with carers at all levels of care from the individual to overall service planning in line with carers’ rights under the Carers (Scotland) Act.

About the resource

The original Triangle of Care guide was launched in July 2010 as a joint piece of work between The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now Carers Trust) and the National Mental Health Development Unit.

The Triangle of Care encourages better recognition of carers as key partners in the planning and provision of mental health care. The introduction of Carers (Scotland) Act in April 2018 established new rights for all carers to support, information and advice, as well as to be listened to and involved in discharge planning.

The Triangle of Care, through its self-assessment tool, guidance notes and best practice examples, provides mental health services with the opportunity to assess their own practice around engaging with carers and helps them to look at ways of improving/increasing this way of working and to do so in partnership with carers, people who use mental health services and other support organisations.

The Carers (Scotland) Act has seen an increased emphasis on cross-sector partnership working to deliver effective local support to carers to meet their personal outcomes and support them to continue their caring role if that is what they want to do. By implementing the Triangle of Care across all fields of mental health care meaningful partnerships are established to improve outcomes for carers, people who use services and staff working in services.