Carers and families

Help us provide better care. Please complete a short online survey about your experience as a carer. You can follow this link to the survey.

Our Carers' Strategy 2024-27 sets out our commitment and priorities for carers and our plans to delivering the six key standards of the Triangle of Care.

Our commitment to carers

We will work with you as a partner

This means we will:

  • Respect your role as an expert in the care and support of the person who uses our services
  • Listen to what you say and communicate clearly with you
  • Respect carers’ and patient confidentiality and work with you to overcome barriers to giving support and sharing information.

We will support you to get help and assistance when you need it

This means we will:

  • Respond in a timely way to your needs and, in particular, during times of crisis
  • Provide support which is tailored to your personal needs
  • Signpost you to relevant information and advice and enable you to get help from the carer support services
  • Take a ‘whole family’ approach to supporting carers, recognising the needs of young carers

We will train our staff to be aware of carers’ needs

This means we will:

  • Ensure all our staff can identify carers and recognise their role as partners
  • Enable our staff to respond quickly and flexibly
  • Involve our staff in developing information, support and other services for carers
  • Involve carers in training our staff. 

Stronger Together - update and next steps

There were almost 70,000 suicides in the general population in the UK between 2010 and 2020, 27% of whom had recent contact with mental health services (National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health, 2023, NCISH). Yet, it is seen as a preventable phenomenon. Research recognises that a three-way partnership between service users, carers, and clinicians, with all voices being heard and influencing care treatment decisions, will produce the best chance of recovery. Family involvement is a key way to improve patient safety. However, despite the policy and guidance advocating for carer involvement, carers have repeatedly raised concerns about clinicians' and practitioners' apparent reluctance to engage with them, share information, barriers that prevent carer collaboration, and the organisational culture and attitudes that obstruct its implementation.

Stronger Together is our response to address these challenges. It is a quality improvement training initiative to reduce suicide risk and improve patient safety through carer collaboration. Stronger Together was developed through a process of co-production and evaluated by the University of Exeter. You can read the full report here.

Stronger Together is made up of two full-day workshops as follows:

Workshop One: Family, friend, and caregiver empowerment
This workshop provides caregivers with coping skills and tools to help manage risk in the person they care for while also looking after themselves and building their resilience. Content overview includes the neurobiology of suicidal behavior, risk factors and warning signs, emotional regulation and the Window of Tolerance, how to help, managing risk and stepping back, self-care strategies, preventing carer burnout, setting boundaries, resources, and signposting.

Workshop Two: Family, caregiver, and practitioner collaboration
This workshop considers the challenges around information-sharing and consent, which can act as a barrier to family involvement, and how to overcome these. Content overview includes facts and figures, exploring roles, Triangle of Care, collaborative care, national/local legislation and policy, consent and confidentiality, information-sharing, scenarios to apply learning, safety planning, and managing risk.

Stronger Together is planning to restart in 2024. For more information, please email g.adams4@nhs.net.

Your feedback as a carer is important to us

Whether you are a family member (son, daughter, parent, brother, sister, grandparent etc) or other carer providing support to someone accessing services at Devon Partnership NHS Trust you can provide feedback with this simple online form. We would value any feedback you, as a carer, can give us – your comments and reflections will be reviewed in our Together Forum with any identified learning to improve services arising from this. We want to encourage more carers to give us feedback on their experiences and will implement the learning to support how we improve the delivery of care and better connect with carers.

A Carers' Steering Monitoring group with representation from Devon and Torbay Carer organisations, carers, Devon Partnership NHS Trust staff and Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust monitors the implementation of the Triangle of Care and collects feedback from carers about their experience of mental health services. We use their feedback to help improve the services we provide. 

You can also email us at dpt.together@nhs.net

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