Hafal’s Gellinudd Recovery Centre for mental health in-patients wins international award for best practice


Gellinudd Recovery Centre, a new in-patient service in Pontardawe run by Welsh charity Hafal, has won an international award for best practice in mental health care.

The Pedro Montellano Good Practice Award was presented to the team at a Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAIMAN) award ceremony in Budapest, Hungary on Saturday, 23 September 2017. The prestigious award recognises the outstanding initiatives and innovative efforts of mental health organisations in Europe and is awarded to just one project each year.

Recovery Centre Development Consultant Helen Bennett who accepted the award said: “A service user-led recovery centre has been a dream of Hafal’s since our Members first supported the idea approximately 15 years ago. This dream finally became a reality in April of this year and I am honoured to be receiving this reward on behalf of the team at Gellinudd.”

Alison Guyatt, Director of Gellinudd Recovery Centre, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have gained international recognition for the Centre, and to bring this important award home to Wales. The award demonstrates that Gellinudd Recovery Centre really is a world-class facility which sets new standards of best practice.

“I have managed mental health hospitals and wards for many years. When I started my career I dreamed of working in a truly therapeutic environment where the patient received a holistic package of care and treatment – and where they were able to take control of their life.

“Thanks to the vision and commitment of Hafal’s Members, Guests at Gellinudd now receive such a service. And it is wonderful that our innovative, patient-centred approach has been recognised and honoured with a Pedro Montellano Good Practice Award.”

Gellinudd Recovery Centre breaks new ground in providing a progressive and empowering in-patient service. Service user Jo Roberts who supported the development of the Centre said: “Gellinudd Recovery Centre is far from being like your usual mental health hospital. It has been designed by people who have experience of mental illness so the Guest will be put at the centre of everything. And Guests are given the opportunity to lead the service.

“The Centre takes a holistic approach to recovery, which means it doesn’t just focus on treatment: it looks at all areas of life, from training to physical health to social life. There is so much for Guests to do. It’s a good place to be, the best place to get better.”

The development of the Centre has been supported by Big Lottery and Welsh Government funding. Launching the Centre earlier this year, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport Vaughan Gething said: “I am pleased to be opening this Centre, which uses an innovative approach to help people recover from serious mental health issues and is the first of its kind in Wales.

“We have invested £500,000 in this treatment centre through our Invest to Save funding, which will not only benefit patients but will also generate savings for the NHS in Wales.”

The Centre has been developed in close liaison with the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales to ensure it provides a service that fits with existing NHS services and that meets the highest clinical governance standards. Its approach is strongly in line with Welsh law and policy including the Mental Health (Wales) Measure and the “Together for Health” and “Together for Mental Health” Welsh Government strategies.

Matt Pearce