How we work with you

We value the insights of family, friends and carers and the role they can play in supporting patients.

We want to do our best to support you and to find out your views on our services and the help we can give you. 

Our vision is that:

  • carers, families and friends are valued, recognised and involved as partners in care
  • we listen to and communicate effectively with them
  • we support them to maintain their wellbeing.

We have a Carers, Families and Friends Strategy Monitoring Group which involves staff, carers and members of the community. For meeting dates and more information about this group please contact us.

Support for you

Being the relative or friend of someone in mental healthcare can be worrying and stressful, and you may need emotional support or help with health and money issues.

There are a number of sources of support for you.

1. Information from St Andrew's
As a carer you will be given information about:

  • mental health problems
  • where to get more information
  • different treatments for mental health problems
  • services for people with mental health problems
  • what to do if you are worried about the person you care for
  • who to contact in an emergency
  • how to manage mental health problems at difficult times – like when the person leaves St Andrew’s.

2. Carer’s assessment
Your local authority can run an assessment to see what support you need and will work with you to help you avoid becoming stressed or unwell. Even if the person you are caring for does not want any help you can still have a carer’s assessment that can help you to balance your caring with other parts of your life.

Useful information

Click to download useful files

Patient guide

3. Duties and powers as a carer: The Care Act 2014

The Care Act creates a single, consistent route to establishing an entitlement to public care and support for all adults with needs for care and support. It also creates the first ever entitlement to support for carers, on a similar basis.

You can find a range of fact sheets about the duties and powers of local authorities in future, your rights and help here. These cover topics including general responsibility, who is entitled, assessments and eligibility, funding, charging, personal care and support planning.

The Care Act - information

Useful organisations

Forensic carers

If your relative or friend is a St Andrew's patient under a criminal section of the Mental Health Act (for example, section 37, 37/41, 38, 41 47, 48, 49) you are a ‘forensic carer’. There a few differences to your rights in this situation as a relative can not be named 'nearest relative'.

Someone on a forensic section will often have more restrictions placed upon them. Depending on the type of offence, Victim Liaison Officers, Probation, Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) can all be involved in decisions about the person’s care.

Leave into the community outside the hospital for example, can only be granted if the MOJ agrees to it. In many cases, the MOJ takes the role of the Nearest Relative for forensic patients.

It can take time to understand the rules and rights that apply in each patient’s case, so speak to the St Andrew's social worker and care team who will help you with the details.