Role of families and carers in the safety of health care

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in Carers, News on 17th September, 2023

World Patient Safety Day graphicAt Devon Partnership NHS Trust (DPT) we recognise the huge contribution families and carers make to the people they support and care for, our organisation and communities. As far as possible we work collaboratively with families and carers, recognising them as expert partners in care. 

“Carers and families bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and as such can be a valuable part of the team around a patient.” – Expert by Experience

In 2018 DPT signed up to the Triangle of Care (ToC) model which is a three way relationship between the person, carer and staff with all the voices being heard and influencing care and treatment decisions. We know that this way of working leads to better care and outcomes for all, including improved patient safety, as well as best chance of recovery. The ToC is integral to our reviewed Carers’ strategy which is due to be launched this autumn. The strategy demonstrates our strong organisational commitment to carers and sets out clear milestones to achieve our vision which puts carers at the heart of everything that we do.

“The ToC creates better engagement between carer, loved ones and staff, so that all collaborate and benefit…The outcomes from sound implementation create safer working practice... better outcomes for people using services, greater staff satisfaction and greater agency for families who feel part of the treatment programme.” – Carer Partner

The opinions of both people who use our services and carers are paramount in our efforts to deliver good and safe care, and continuous improvement. Our Together programme enables people with lived experience and carers, collectively known as Experts by Experience, to be involved in transformational projects and initiatives, including implementation of the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF). Experts by Experience involved in this work have made invaluable contributions by sharing their experience and unique perspective and an engagement process around PSIRF will be launched soon.