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Our commitment to working in partnership with carers has been recognised with a second gold star under a national scheme.

The Triangle of Care scheme is run by the Carers Trust, and brings carers, service users and professionals closer together to jointly promote the recovery of people with mental health conditions.

We were accepted as a member of the scheme in April 2015, gained our first gold star in 2016, and have now been awarded our second gold star. This is the highest level that a Trust such as ²gether, which currently has no community health services, can attain.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration for the Trust, said: “The Triangle of Care programme has given us a great opportunity to embed the principles of working with family members and other carers across our teams in both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

“We are delighted that this work has been recognised with a second gold star – the highest rating a Trust like ours can achieve. However, membership of the scheme is about much more than accreditation.

“We hope that it demonstrates to people who use our services, families and communities, that we hold carers, and the role that they play, in the highest regard and are committed to ensuring their involvment. Carers not only need our full support; they are also experts in their own right who should be fully included in the delivery of health and social care whenever possible .

“We’d like to thank our partners – Carers Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Young Carers and Herefordshire Carers Support – as well as the Carers Trust for their continued support. In addition, we express our sincere appreciation to the carers and staff members who have enabled this work to progress”

To gain the second star, community teams in both counties had to complete a number of actions, as well as appointing carer champions within their teams and nominating young carer champions.

Joanna Denney, Consultant Occupational Therapist for Social Inclusion,  ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, has led the work to gain the second gold star. She said: “Carers of all ages play an essential role in supporting the recovery and wellbeing of so many service users.

“They can offer emotional support, speak up for loved ones, get involved in care planning, remind someone to take their medication, and help them with day-to-day activities. This makes a big difference to people who use our service users, and improves their chances of living the life they want to live.

“As this formal programme comes to an end, we will remain strongly committed to the principles of Triangle of Care and make sure they are followed routinely throughout the Trust.”