Carers join forces with RCN on new dementia guide

A new guide being launched in Parliament outlines how to improve the care for dementia sufferers.The Triangle of Care promotes the inclusion of carers – those said to know the patient the best – to better tailor treatments for those with dementia.

The Carers Trust and Royal College of Nursing, which worked together to outline the standards, said the guide has the potential transform carer’ lives if it is implemented across the board.

The six-point model was put together with the help of carers, people with dementia and practitioners, with the aim to bring together the views of the patient, the carer and doctors.

The six key standards to help achieve a “triangle of care” between the person with dementia, their carer and healthcare staff are:

  1. Carers and their essential role are identified as soon as possible
  2. Staff are carer aware and trained to engage with and understand carers’ needs.
  3. Policy and practice regarding confidentiality and sharing information are in place
  4. Defined posts responsible for carers are in place
  5. A carer introduction to the service and staff is available
  6. A range of carer support services are available

The move comes after studies found dementia carers face a lack of support. It was further highlighted that patients with dementia benefit when their carer has adequate support and is involved in the decisions made by healthcare professionals.

At at event yesterday to launch the Triangle of Care, Labour MP Hazel Blears, vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, will outline how the guide aims to offer more support to carers within a hospital environment.

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.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, added: “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.”

The practices are being adopted by Salford Royal Foundation Trust and Greater Manchester West Mental HealthFoundation Trust.