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RCN calls for improved links with dementia carers

A guide to improve the care of people with dementia by ensuring support and involvement of their carers has been published by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Carers Trust. 

The Triangle of Care is made up of six key standards which aim to improve collaboration between carers and health care workers,

According to the RCN, these standards are “essential” to improving care for people with dementia.

The standards were developed by people with dementia, carers and healthcare practitioners. 

The Triangle of Care has been developed to support people with dementia and their carers in hospital, but are equally relevant in all settings.

The six key standards to help achieve a 'triangle of care' between person with dementia, carer and 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

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

“Carers and staff are working towards the same goal and it is better for everyone if they can work together to achieve this.”

Thea Stein, chief executive of Carers Trust said: “Our own research has shown that carers of people with dementia often do not get the support that they need. The Triangle of Care helps identify these carers. We look forward to working with the RCN on this and providing much needed support.”