Involving carers in acute treatment of patients with psychosis


Over 6 million people provide informal care in the UK, rising to 9 million by 2037. For schizophrenia alone, informal carers save the public purse £1.24bn per year. Involvement of carers in the treatment of patients with psychosis has been shown as effective by research and recommended by policies but it is not systematically implemented in routine practice.

This project reviewed the available evidence on barriers and facilitators for carers’ involvement in mental health care. Based on this research evidence, they developed a provisional intervention to:

1) ensure an early involvement of carers in routine hospital treatment (starting immediately after hospital admission)
2) provide carers and patients with information on treatment and on procedures for confidentiality
3) develop a shared understanding between patients, carers and professionals about the psychiatric crisis
4) establish a shared treatment planning. The draft intervention was developed in collaboration with academic experts, clinicians and carers and users representatives.

A focus group study gathered the perspectives of patients, carers, frontline clinicians and senior service managers on carers’ involvement in inpatient care. The intervention was refined based on these finding and piloted. 

Project details: Involvement of carers in acute treatment of patients with psychosis 


Carer involvement in mental healthcare, although best practice, is not routinely implemented. The training programme and manual for clinical staff, developed as a result of this research:

  • was co-developed with service users and carers
  • focuses on how to facilitate and chair a session with patients and carers within the first days of admission
  • is available online

Download our impact card here or by clicking the image below.

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