Carer and relative support

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hearing from carersCarers and relatives play a vital role in caring for some people with mental health problems or those suffering with drug and alcohol problems.

We know that this role can sometimes be difficult, demanding and lonely. As well as providing care and treatment for the people who use our services, we are also here to support you. If you have a problem, if something is worrying you, or if you are confused about how to get help, then please talk to us.

Am I a carer?

“People who look after a relative or friend who needs support because of age, physical or learning disability or illness, including mental illness”

- Department of Health definition, 2002

If you spend a significant proportion of your time providing (unpaid) support to someone accessing our services, we would refer to you as a ‘carer’.

The Carers Partnership identifies four specific carer groups, aiming to give each group a voice in establishing the support that is important to you:

  • Young carers – carers under the age of 18 years. They may be taking on responsibilities that an adult would normally have.
  • Young adult carers – carers aged 18 to 25 years.
  • Parent carers – those over 18 years of age caring for a child (who is under 18 years of age or going through transition, this can include other relatives or guardians).
  • Adult carers – those over 25 years of age caring for another adult.

You may not see yourself as a carer and may be unaware of the range of support services that can help you in your caring role.

As a carer you are entitled to an assessment of your own needs and a plan of support and should have this option explained to you.

You can discuss and arrange a meeting with any member of our staff, through the Carer’s Services at the Lincolnshire County Council, or Rethink's Carer's services.

If you would like further information on the support that Lincolnshire County Council can offer carers please contact the carers team at Lincolnshire County Council on telephone: 01522 782224.

You can read various case studies and stories from carers on our 'carer stories' page. 

The latest information about support for carers and relatives can be found in our newsletters. You can read the latest edition of the carers newsletter by using this link. 

Triangle of care.pngThe Trust has signed up to Triangle of Care - a therapeutic alliance between service users, staff and carers and relatives that promotes safety, supports recovery and sustains well-being.

Initiated by the Carers Trust, the Triangle of Care approach has been developed by carers and staff seeking to improve carer and relative engagement in acute inpatient services, and has now extended to cover all inpatient services and home treatment services.

What is the Triangle of Care?

The Triangle of Care is an initiative which brings together carers and relatives, service users and professionals. It aims to promote safety and recovery for people with mental health issues and to encourage their wellbeing by including and supporting their carers and relatives.


How the Triangle of Care can help carers and relatives

As a carer and relative you might be the only consistent form of support the person you care for has. You may well be there when crisis occurs, when the person you care for is well and when that person needs help with day-to-day activities. You are also likely to understand their needs and condition extremely well. This can make you a vital partner in their care.

When professionals recognise the support you are giving and see you as a key partner, then the person you care for is more likely to receive better care and support on their journey to recover.

The Trust’s policy states that staff should be “sensitive to the service user’s wishes and confidentiality requirements; engage with family members and carers as care partners”. To ensure the rights of confidentiality for the service user, staff will always seek consent from them to share information with their family and friends. Service users are entitled to decline consent for information to be shared with their family and friends or they may set specific limitations to information that can be shared.

However, carers, family and friends also have rights to confidentiality which means that they must be offered the opportunity to pass on their thoughts and/or information to the nursing and medical team involved in the care of their loved one. Carers can ensure that their voice is heard by speaking to the nursing staff or the responsible clinician. Carers, family and friends can also give or decline consent for information that they share to be passed onto the service user. If you do give information you wish to be kept private from the service user, please ensure that you inform the staff member of your wishes at the time of sharing the information.

An advanced statement is a broad term used to describe a service users wishes about their continuing care and treatment, involvement of an advocate, family member or next of kin, and their personal beliefs and values.

An advanced directive is a specific term used in crises and contingency planning to describe preferred treatment choices and strategies when dealing with a specific incident.
An advanced statement/directive should be discussed and decided after an inpatient admission, when the service user is demonstrating the ability to reflect and has capacity. The patient must demonstrate capacity at the time of making the statement or decision and this information must be documented appropriately. An advance statement/directive is not legally binding but healthcare professionals should take them into account when the service user’s capacity is lost. It is a good idea to discuss these with your relative when they are mentally well.

There are a number of useful resources and organisations that can help you with looking after your own wellbeing.

  • Moodzone is a good resource to help you cope with stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Mind has a section specifically dedicated for carers
  • steps2change talking therapies service provided by LPFT can offer you help with common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, OCD, stress. 
  • Lincolnshire Recovery College offers free educational courses on mental health and wellbeing.

The Lincolnshire Young Carers service is designed to help and support children and young people up to the age of 18 years who help to care for someone at home. That person may be a parent, sibling, grandparent, or any other relative.

Young carers often take on responsibilities which affect their friendships and relationships, learning and development, health and wellbeing, or future career choices. They experience increased levels of stress or anxiety, feelings of isolation and loneliness, lack of time to take part in social activities and difficulties in keeping up with their education or homework.

Lincolnshire Young Carers offers a comprehensive service which will give young carers someone who will assess their needs, provide information and make sure the right support is provided.


Carer leads at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be starting to wear bright orange lanyards, whilst on shift to enable them to be easily identifiable to visiting carers and relatives who may need to speak to them about their family member.

Carers visiting their relatives in hospital are often anxious and don’t always feel able to approach busy staff to ask questions, for example about their relative’s care and treatment.

The scheme was discussed at a carer group meeting and further developed after the approval of attendees.

Carer lead staff who wear the lanyards have easy access to carers assessments and have had carers awareness training or family therapy training. Wards that do not wear lanyards for safety reasons, wear the orange lanyard on their security belts.

Community teams have carer leads identified too and these staff also wear orange lanyards on shift, so carers and relatives attending outpatient appointments can speak to a carer lead easily.

Carers groups

Please note that carer groups have been suspended due to COVID-19 however there are some events being held online.

If you are interested in having a 1-2-1 phone call for advice or simply a chat, please email

Face to face meetings have been suspended due to COVID-19. The group is running online via WebEx. Please email if you'd like to attend a meeting.

Every other Thursday starting on 16 January 2020 at Coffee Beanz, Discovery House, St George's, Long Leys Road, Lincoln LN1 1FS.

6.30pm - 8pm

No need to book, just turn up. for more information contact Donna Bradford on or 07802569995.


Suspended due to COVID-19

Every other Thursday starting on 9 January 2020, 5pm-7pm

Mayfields, Broadfield Lane, Boston PE21 8GH

No need to book, just turn up on the day.

For more information please contact Donna Bradford on or 07802569995

Please note that availability of services may differ due to COVID-19. Please check with the centre directly.

The Well Head Centre offers free short-term accommodation to adults aged 18+ years old and over for up to five nights is a supportive and peaceful environment bringing hope, direction and rest back into their lives.

The Well Head Centre is a registered charity run by a team of volunteers who are on site 24 hours a day.

All guests are referred by a professional working within the community e.g doctor, nurse, health visitor, community support worker, pastor of a church or someone in a pastoral role within the church.


The Well Head Centre
12 Manor Lane, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 9PQ

Tel: 07779 3611934

'Ask me a question'

Do you have a question about your loved one's illness, medication or about mental health services in general?

From Monday 13 June 2022 we are launching an 'ask me a question' pilot scheme for three months through our carers email address where you can send your questions through to us. 

Email and one of our experienced Psychiatrists, Mental Health Pharmacists or Mental Health Nurses will try their best to give you the information and advice you need.

We will endeavour to respond to you within 48 hours (excluding weekends).

Please note - responses cannot be patient specific and we will provide generic responses. 

Useful contacts

Lincolnshire County Council's carers support team is the first point of contact for all referrals and general enquiries regarding support for carers.
Lincolnshire County Council
Carers Support Team 
Customer Service Centre
Witham Park House
Waterside South
Lincoln LN5 7JN

Tel: 01522 782224



If you're a young carer aged 17 or under you can contact:

Lincolnshire Young Carers Service

Tel: 01522 553275


Carers FIRST

Supporting adult and young adult carers across Lincolnshire
To make a referral contact the county council's Carers Support Team as above

Telephone: 0300 3031555



Twitter: @Carers_First


LPFT carer support

You can contact:

Related links

Useful websites

Accessibility tools

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