Demand for more carer involvement

A “cultural shift” is needed within the mental health system to recognise the importance of carers, according to a report.

The Department of Health, the Institute of Psychiatry and charity Rethink say in a briefing paper that information should be shared with carers to involve them more in services.

It says fears about breaching confidentiality have created a barrier to the effective involvement of carers, and that too many local policies focus on the negative effects of sharing information.

Professionals need training to help them understand the role of carers, who should not be involved uncritically or against the service user’s wishes, the report adds.

Rethink’s head of research, Vanessa Pinfold, said: “Although there are no generic solutions, there are a number of strategies that professionals can adopt to support carers through information sharing without breaking confidentiality.”

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