Carers service and triangle of care

Carers' service

What is the Carers Service?

At Somerset Foundation Trust, we work to the triangle of care standards. This means that we believe for someone to make a successful and sustained recovery the client, staff and carers must all work in together. The carers’ assessment service is a team who specialise in supporting the carers of people who have mental health conditions. We do this in a variety of ways starting with a carers assessment, this is followed by up to two more sessions if required, to advise and support you. Below is some of the things we can do;

  • Signposting on how to access benefits and benefit support.
  • Getting a break or holiday (alone or with the person you care for)
  • Befriending services
  • Accessing advocacy
  • Support for physical health needs
  • Education sessions
  • Peer support via groups
  • A listening ear in times of brief crisis

What is a Carer’s Assessment?

Together, we will look at how the caring role impacts on your life. This is not an assessment of how well you care for your loved one – we know you’re doing a great job. The purpose of this assessment is to make sure that someone is looking out for you.

During the assessment you will be asked a series of questions about your life, your caring role, your difficulties and your strengths.

At the end of the assessment, we will understand more about the things in your life that you enjoy, the things you’d like to do less of, and the areas you need more support in. Your worker will then be able to share what support is available to you.

The carers’ services team comprises a team manager, a team of thirteen carers’ assessment workers, a team administrator and a carers’ employment support officer.

We provide a comprehensive range of services for carers which include:

  • Carers’ assessments
  • Emotional support
  • Practical advice
  • Carers’ employment support
  • Carers’ support groups
  • Carers’ website
  • Carers’ newsletter
  • Carers’ information
  • Carers’ participation group
  • Information and advice about carers’ breaks
  • Carers’ events.

How people can access your service  

Carers can be referred or self refer for a carers’ assessment providing the person that they support is registered with Somerset mental health services.

Waiting times  

Carers will be offered an appointment within four weeks from accepting a referral or self-referral.

Where you can access these services  

The carers’ services team are based within community mental health teams across Somerset. The team can be contacted by telephone or email.

How we work

The team assess the needs of carers and provide them with information, advice and support. The carers’ assessment includes emotional support, carers’ breaks, dealing with practical issues and lifestyle choices.

Triangle Of Care

The ‘Triangle of Care’ is a national initiative led by the Carers’ Trust.

The triangle refers to the three-way partnership between patient, carer and staff – which is different to the ‘traditional’ two-way model of patient and staff.  We believe the carer (which might be a husband or wife, child, partner or other family member) is a crucial partner when we are looking after a patient and getting them better. Working in partnership and listening to carers helps us better look after our patients.

We are signed up to the Triangle of Care accreditation scheme which means that we have committed ourselves to involving carers and families in all our services across our organisation.

We have developed our Carers’ Charter to make sure that all staff, patients and carers understand that we are committed to listening to carers and involving them in the loved one’s care. This means involving carers by telling them what we can about their loved one’s condition and supporting carers by making sure they know important things such as when their loved one is being discharged and key things that are happening to them.