Our partners in care

If we are to build an NHS that is fit for the future then carers must be full partners in the way we deliver that care. We must join up our services around their needs as well as those of the patient and we must help them look after their health and wellbeing to enable them to sustain their vital caring role” - NHS Long Term Plan

Carers and families play an important role in the care of their loved ones.  We appreciate the time, care and effort they give and we endeavour to offer and deliver services which support, value, and recognise the importance of their contributions.

At Derbyshire Healthcare we work alongside carer representatives from local mental health carers peer support forums, local health and social care providers, carer champions in our teams and services, and with partners from the voluntary sector.

We also recognise that caring for someone who is unwell, or has health problems, can have an impact on the lives of families and carers, and we want to help identify any needs you have, and to support your wellbeing wherever we can. We often work together with other agencies to do this.

This page contains a range of information and resources to ensure that families and carers can easily contribute, and feel supported in their contributions.

Listening to carers and families
Setting and maintaining our standards
Sharing information
Resources for families and carers
Get in touch

Support for Carers, Families, Friends and Supporters information guide

Listening to carers and families

We want to help and support you as a family member, carer, partner or friend of someone using our services. Supporting or caring for someone with health problems. We know that families, parents, and carers are often a vital part of the life of someone who needs the services of the Trust, and they can be the people who are keeping them well and living in the community.

If you need help, advice, or information you may wish to talk to the Care Coordinator or Keyworker, or the person who organises the care for your loved one.   With permission, they can talk to you about the care being provided to the person you care for and they will involve you whenever possible.

You can also talk to your GP if you have concerns.


A wide variety of support is available for Carers, Families, Friends and Supporters. What help you need may depend on the needs of the person you care for, where you live or your age. 


You can find out about all different types of support in Derby City and Derbyshire by reading our Carer and Family Support Guide.


When you’re worried about the person you’re looking after, it can sometimes be difficult making peopleunderstand what’s wrong and why you’re concerned. The SBARD structure helps you to organise your thoughts before you call so that you can get the help you need. 


Download the SBARD postcard and use it to help you organise your thoughts before making a call to services. 

If you’ve got the consent of the person to be involved in their care, please contact their main worker.

We have active carer groups available for carers and families to join. These groups are friendly spaces where carers can come together to take time for themselves and speak with others who have similar caring responsibilities.

We have groups taking place at:

  • Hartington Unit in Chesterfield
  • Radbourne Unit in Derby
  • Early Intervention Service
  • Kingsway Hospital Derby

To find out about meeting times and venues email lynn.dunham@nhs.net

Mental Health Peer Support Forums for Carers
Derbyshire has two independent Mental Health Carer Peer Support Groups, one in the North of the County and one in the City and South area.  These groups are run by Mental Health Carers who offer a welcoming safe space for Carers to come together, offer mutual support and enjoy a cuppa and a chat.  

Mental Health Carers Community: Chesterfield & North Derbyshire
Tel: 07730 526219 or email jose.rodgers@nhs.net 
When & Where: Last Wed every month. 10am-1pm, Chesterfield Fire Station, Spire Walk Business Park, Braid Wood way, Chesterfield, S40 2WH (Located behind B&Q).

Derby City and South Derbyshire Mental Health Carers Forum 
Tel: Sandra: 07779 107087 or email dcandsderbysmhcf@gmail.com for more information
When & Where: Third Friday of each month 11.30am – 2pm, The Oddfellows Hall, 32 Charnwood Street, Derby, DE1 2GU

High Peak Mental Health Carers
Contact: Helen (07791219541) helencochrane2@gmail.com for more information
When & Where: First Wednesday of each month 11.30am to 1.30pm, Methodist Church, Market Place, Buxton

Plans are underway to carry out a survey of carers and families of people in our services.

It is important we know how carers and families think and feel about the services we provide to their loved ones and to make sure they are included and involved in care.

There are lots of different ways carers and families can tell us about their experiences, and this includes registering concerns, compliments and complaints. 

Visit our patient experience page for more information on how to do this. 

We hold a monthly carers engagement meeting.  This meeting provides an opportunity to come together to address issues that affect carers and families. 

We work together to seek solutions to tricky issues and look for ways to improve what we do. 

The monthly engagement group is well attended by representatives of the mental health carer peer support forums, members from the wider local carer community and carer champions and is a well-established, active, and productive group that influences Trust policies and practices.

The group tackles the issues that directly impact and challenge carers and families with members of the group acting as “critical friends” to our organisation.

Do you run a carer group or forum?

If you represent a Mental Health Carer Group or Forum and would like to join us in our work then please get in touch by emailing lynn.dunham@nhs.net

Setting and maintaining our standards

triangle-of-careThe Trust is a member of the Triangle of Care: Carers Included Membership Scheme run by the Carer’s Trust and has achieved the two-gold star status. This recognises the Trust’s commitment to working with and supporting Carers at every level of the care journey within Trust services.

Read more about the Triangle of Care Membership Scheme in England 

The Triangle of Care scheme sets six standards which we adhere to, as below:

1) Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact or as soon as possible thereafter.

2) Staff are ‘carer aware’ and trained in carer engagement strategies.

3) Policy and practice protocols re: confidentiality and sharing information, are in place.

4) Defined post(s) responsible for carers are in place.

5) A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with a relevant range of information across the care pathway.

6) A range of carer support services is available

“The Triangle of Care makes sense, you can tell that carers designed it.” - Carer Representative

“The Triangle is right, we’re all in this together.” - Carer Representative

“Triangle of Care has given us the right tools to develop and shape services which recognise the importance and value of carers, families and supporters of people in our services.  Triangle of Care has helped us adjust perspectives, change culture, and provide better care” - Staff member

Carer and Parent Promise for print.jpg

The Trust will...

Involve you in the care/treatment of the person you care for whenever possible and agree how best to communicate with you. 

Discuss the options for care and treatment with you, if we have consent. We will do our best to make it easy for you to support the person you care for when you see us

Listen to you and do our best to ensure that you feel heard and valued. We will explain things again to you if needed.

I will...

Let services know if the health of the person I care for gets worse.

Whenever possible share my experiences and concerns about the person I care for with you

Whenever possible, and with consent, be an active participant in the care and recovery of the person I care for. 

Together we will…

Let the other know beforehand if we have to cancel appointments (except in emergencies).

Work together whenever possible on the recovery of the person we care for to help support them to reach their potential. We will call each other back if we have arranged to do so.

Agree a plan to identify how we will communicate with each other.

Our information leaflets, booklets and posters are displayed in all of our services, and we also provide these on our website for anyone to view or download. We co-produce these publications with carers to make sure they contain the best and most useful information. Co-production sits at the heart of the work we do to ensure we listen and learn from carer experts by experience. 

You can find out more in the Support for Carers, Families, Friends and Supporters information guide. 

The Trust has embedded a network of Carer Champions. These are Trust staff who are passionate about making sure we listen to, support, and involve carers and families. This group of staff are key to the sharing of information and good practice within Trust teams. Supporting carers is everybody’s business but our carer champions have an enhanced role in advocating for and championing the vital contribution carers and families make.

Information about visiting our Hospital and Inpatient Services 
Carers and Families are welcome to visit hospital and inpatient areas and we want to make sure you have the right information and are included in the care of your loved one.  The links below provide more information about our services, and this includes visiting times, contact information and guidelines about how these services provide care.

Radbourne Unit, Hartington Unit and Tissington House
Hospital services :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)

Cubley Court at Kingsway 
Dementia services :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)

Cherry Tree Close, Kingsway
Rehabilitation services :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)

The Beeches Mother and Baby Unit, Derby
Perinatal (mother and baby) services :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)

Kedleston Unit at Kingsway
Criminal justice and forensic services :: Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk)

Information for Carers about locked doors 
Please be aware ward doors in inpatient areas are locked to keep everybody safe, however informal patients (not subject to any restriction under the Mental Health Act) are not subject to any restrictions on leaving the ward or unit.  

Please be aware that, even though the ward exit doors are locked, the nurse will be able to open the door for them to leave.  

Concerns about leaving the ward or unit
If clinical staff have concerns regarding a patient’s health or safety, or the safety of others they will explain their concerns to the individual and ask them to stay on the ward.  

If the person still wishes to leave, the nurse or doctor can use emergency holding powers under section 5(4) or section 5(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 to prevent them from leaving.  

This will allow a period of 6 hours up to 72 hours for a Mental Health Act Assessment to be completed.

If these powers are implemented there are systems under the Mental Health Act which are used to protect the patient. 

They will be given a leaflet explaining their rights if they are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 and the next of kin would be informed.  If you have any further questions, please speak to a member of staff.

Triangle of Care and carer awareness training is mandatory for all clinical staff and is a way of making sure everyone knows how to work with and involve carers and families, and apply the Triangle of Care Standards in their practice. 

We have policies and procedures in place to ensure everyone in the Trust understands their responsibilities and commitments to carers and families. These policies include:

  • Carers: Working with and supporting Carers and Families
  • Patient and Carer Experience Strategy 2019-2024
  • Participant, Carer and Experts by Experience Recognition, Reward and Remuneration Policy and Procedure
  • Care Principles and CPA Policy and Procedures
  • Discharge, Transfer/Transitions and Leave Policy & Procedure for people with mental health difficulties
  • Safeguarding Adults Policy

if you would more information about our Policies or Procedures please contact lynn.dunham@nhs.net 

Sharing information

Families and carers sometimes say that they don’t have the information they need to be able to help, because staff won’t share important information. Everyone working for us has a legal duty to keep information confidential. We will always ask for permission from the person you support to share information with you. In some cases, they may not give permission to share
information. However, we will continue to try to give you appropriate information to help you in your role as a carer.

This is explained in our Sharing information with Families and Carers booklet.

Resources for families and carers

Derbyshire Carers Association (DCA) support Carers who look after a family member, partner, friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, mental ill health or an addiction.

Derbyshire Carers Association deliver a support service to Adult and Young Carers throughout Derbyshire (but not the city of Derby). The services available are created to support Carers with the practical, physical, and the emotional impact of care giving. Derbyshire Carers Association provide Carers Assessments to identify the support you may need as a Carer and the things that could make your caring role easier for you.

A Carer Personal Budget (formally known as a Carer’s Break Award or Grant) is an amount of money arising from a Carers Assessment, which is to support you in your caring role. It is not means tested and if you are eligible for this, you have a wide choice about how the money is spent. The budget is made available for you to spend on purchases or activities which improve your quality of life as a Carer.

Derbyshire Carers Association also provide a broad mixture of support, activities, and events for carers.  These include advice, newsletters, befriending, peer support groups and carer training.  You can self-refer, or a member of your health care team can make contact on your behalf.  Telephone: 01773 833833 or email info@derbyshirecarers.co.uk.

The Young Carers Service can be contacted on 01773 833833 or by email youngcarers@derbyshirecarers.co.uk

More information on the Derbyshire All Age Carers Support Service can be found here

The service aims to empower unpaid carers who are caring for someone who lives in Derby City. An unpaid carer is anyone who is looking after a family member, friend, or neighbour who, due to disability, physical or mental health condition, illness, or addiction, cannot cope without support.

The service offers practical and personal support to enable carers to lead healthy and fulfilled lives. To access the support the carer must be over 18 years old.

What the service offers:

  • Helpline and email- available Monday to Friday, 9 -5- Offering information, guidance, referrals to other services and Carers Conversations (Please note, Carers Conversations are for unpaid carers aged 18+, caring for someone who is aged 18+)
  • Emergency Planning
  • Well-being activities and events
  • Awareness raising and personal development
  • Community Engagement- including Peer Support and the 'Carers Monthly' newsletter.

Telephone - 01332 228777
Email - carers@citizensadvicemidmercia.org.uk
Web - www.citizensadvicemidmereia.org.uk/carers/ ​​​​​Twitter - @carers_derby
Instagram - carers_derby
Facebook - carersinderby

Download brochure


If you are a Carer for someone with Dementia you can find help and support from Derbyshire Dementia Support Service.  The service can support both you and your family members and carers through the different stages of dementia. The Dementia Support Service delivers a range of groups for people affected by memory loss or dementia where you can meet other people who find themselves in similar circumstances to you.  You don't need an official diagnosis of dementia or be of a certain age to get advice and support from the service. You can contact the service if you're worried about someone’s memory, or you're just seeking information and advice for yourself or others. Carers supporting people living with dementia can be referred for support in their own right. 

You can also get advice and support by contacting the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.  This confidential helpline is for carers, those with dementia and the friends and families of people with dementia.

If you care for someone with Dementia you can find help and support by contacting Making Space in Derby City. Making Space has a clear vision - you have the right to continue doing what you have always done, for as long as possible and they offer lots of different groups and activities for the person affected by Dementia and their Carers.  You can contact this service on 01332 497640, or email derbycity.dementia-services@makingspace.co.uk  You can also get advice and support by contacting the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.  This confidential helpline is for carers, those with dementia and the friends and families of people with dementia.

The Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service is a freephone service available to everyone living in Derbyshire, including carers and family members. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you or your loved one are experiencing distress or anxiety, or feeling that you cannot cope, you can call 0800 028 0077 for support over the phone. That support could be about your mental health, but you can also talk through practical issues that may be causing concern.

Sometimes it can be difficult and feel exhausting when we believe we are not being listened to and when we feel that what’s important to us isn’t being taken seriously by others.

When that happens, an independent advocate can be useful to provide support when decisions are being made that we might not agree with and that impact our health (or the health of the person we care for).  

• In Derbyshire, advocacy is provided by Cloverleaf Advocacy, telephone 01924 454875 or e-mail referrals@cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk  You can also visit www.cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk/areas/derbyshire for further information.
•  In Derby, advocacy is provided by One Advocacy part of Citizens Advice Mid Mercia . You can visit their website www.citizensadvicemidmercia.org.uk/advocacy/ or telephone 01332 228 748 or e-mail referrals@oneadvocacyderby.org 

The Patient Experience Team is the central point of contact for people to provide feedback and raise concerns about the services provided by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. You can contact the service if you have a concern, complaint, or compliment about the service the person you care for may be receiving.  We don’t always get things right all the time and the feedback you provide can help the Trust to keep improving services. You can contact the team on 01332 623751 or 0800 027 2128 or emailing dhcft.patientexperience@nhs.net.

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.  People and organisations in Derbyshire and Derby City work together to prevent the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that wellbeing is promoted. Some adults may not be able to take care of themselves very well or protect themselves from abuse or exploitation.  If you're worried about yourself or someone else being abused or neglected, please contact Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190.  You can phone Call Derbyshire anonymously without revealing your name. You can also visit the website for more information www.derbyshiresab.org.uk

Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust provides a range of services which reflect the wide spectrum of mental health problems.

This includes individuals who need support from community staff, through to inpatient and crisis resolution and more specialist services.

The Choice and Medication website provides people with information about medicines used in the mental health setting to help people make informed decisions about medication.

You can follow the link to find a range of user friendly leaflets about medicines and common mental health conditions.

The quality assured content provided is written by clinical experts and based on published data you can trust.

Click here to find out more

Becoming a carer can have a fundamental impact on your finances and the finances of the wider family unit.  Derbyshire Carers Association offer free legal and financial advice, and this covers matters such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, Care Home Fees and Personal Injury.  As a carer you may be entitled to welfare benefits such as Carers Credit or a Carers Allowance. Whilst information can be found at www.gov.uk/carers-credit  and www.gov.uk/carers-allowance you can also receive help from Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service, contact them on 01629 531535 or email: welfarebenefits@derbyshire.gov.uk or if you live in Derby City you can contact Derby City Welfare Rights Service on 01332 643394 email derby.advice@derbyhomes.org 

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by Derbyshire police, and is supported by the Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

It encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used if an adult who has care and support needs goes missing. Carers, family members and friends or professionals can complete the form in advance.

The form records all vital details, such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located and a photograph, which will help locate the person if they ever go missing.

If your family member or friend goes missing, the form can be easily sent or handed to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering this information.

It is not intended to replace existing safeguarding measures.

Download the form and find out more about the Herbert Protocol.

Talking Mental Health Derbyshire is an approved NHS provider of talking therapies. Talking therapy is a way to explore your difficulties with a trained professional, sorting through your problems to get some relief from tension and have a safe place to explore how you are feeling, gain a new understanding of your problems, and plan what you want to do to overcome them.

The service is free and you can refer yourself by calling 0300 123 0542 or emailing dhcft.talking@nhs.net  If you want to find out more about the service you can visit the website.

There are four Urgent Treatment Centres in Derbyshire (UTCs) Buxton, Ilkeston, Ripley and Whitworth Hospital and are open seven days a week, between 8am and 8pm across Derbyshire.  Urgent Treatment Centres can treat a range of minor injuries and ailments without needing to visit a big hospital. You can call 111 or go online to 111.nhs.uk  to arrange an appointment. For more information visit the website.

Derby City Urgent Treatment Centre is based in Derby City Centre at Entrance C, Osmaston Road, Derby, DE1 2GD. The service runs from 8am-8pm, 7 days a week. The service is for patients who need treatment for common illness conditions or minor injuries that are too urgent to wait for a GP appointment but do not need emergency treatment at an A&E department. You can call 111 or go online to 111.nhs.uk to arrange an appointment.  For more information visit the website.

In medical emergency and life-threatening situations, where a person has taken an overdose, or needs urgent medical attention, please dial 999 or attend your nearest hospital A&E department.

For immediate life-threatening emergencies, where a crime is being committed, or a fire is in progress, contact the emergency services by calling 999 immediately and ask for the Ambulance, Police or Fire Service.  If it is a non-emergency police issue, please call 101.

NHS Social Care and Support Guide –  for information about social care support if you care for someone who needs help with day-to-day living because of illness or disability. 

​​​​​​​Sidekick is a confidential helpline for young carers aged 13-18 in the UK.

Visit www.sidekick.actionforchildren.org.uk or text 07888 868059. You can speak to someone about anything you’d like and it will be confidential and there will never be any judgement

Carers in Derbyshire is a source of information on the Derbyshire County Council website which has been created by a partnership of unpaid carers and local health, social care, and voluntary sector organisations in Derbyshire.  It provides reliable, relevant, local, up to date information about support and services for Carers. 

There is also a Carers section on the Derbyshire Directory with information about Carers Rights and where to get help as well as lots of information about how to look after yourself.

Mobilise are an online service providing help and support which aims to make the lives of family carers easier, less lonely, and frustrating. Mobilise provide a range of free online support including information and advice and the chance to connect with other carers through a closed Facebook group or via daily virtual 'cuppas'. You can visit Mobilise www.mobiliseonline.co.uk, read about their online support for unpaid carers in Derbyshire and subscribe if you'd like to find out more.

Carers UK is a national charity whose mission is to support and make life better for carers. There is a wealth of information and advice available online.  Telephone 0808 808 7777, email advice@carersuk.org or go to www.carersuk.org

Call the Carers Direct helpline (part of Carers UK) on 0300 123 1053 if you need help with your caring role.  They provide free, confidential information and guidance on a number of topics and carers can also email queries to helpline advisers.

Get in touch

Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust employs a Carer Involvement Lead and this provides a central point for support, information, training and networking. This role is key to the Trust’s ongoing commitment to work inclusively and collaboratively with Carers and Families.  You can contact them by emailing lynn.dunham@nhs.net