Introducing Hafal’s Gellinudd Recovery Centre: a first for Wales

Gellinudd Recovery Centre, Hafal’s new in-patient service in Pontardawe for people with a mental illness, was officially launched by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport Vaughan Gething last month. The new Centre will be the first of its kind: a user-led, not-for-profit in-patient service with a strong recovery ethos, delivered by a Third Sector organisation.

The Centre has been developed in close liaison with the NHS in Wales to ensure we provide 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. The Centre is staffed by both registered mental health nurses and registered general nurses, and is supported by physiotherapy, psychological therapy and other services, as well as a psychiatrist.

Gellinudd Recovery Centre has received funding from the Big Lottery and the Welsh Government – and Gellinudd staff have even travelled to the United States and Canada to identify best practice and discover innovative models for service delivery. The Centre has already been visited by academics from as far away as Japan and Taiwan! Our aim is to deliver a world-class facility. And we are delighted that we will have student placements from Cardiff University to support the delivery and development of the service.

Gellinudd Recovery Centre fulfils a long-held ambition of Hafal Members for a progressive in-patient service. The idea for the Centre first came from Hafal’s Members – people directly affected by mental illness – over a decade ago. Many of our Members had first-hand experience of mental health hospitals, but that experience hadn’t been wholly positive. One Hafal Member closely involved in developing the Centre told me that when she was in hospital, she saw the psychiatrist maybe once a week for five minutes, and found herself with little to do in between.

Gellinudd aims to be more ambitious for its Guests. They can take part in a wide range of activities including music and art, NVQ and Agored-accredited study, and biking and walking in the Gower, Brecon Beacons, Afan Forest Park and the Mumbles.  Guests are also invited to shop for and plan their own meals.

Most importantly, Guests at Gellinudd lead the service. The Recovery Centre is built on Hafal’s model of client empowerment which means that Guests will meet regularly to direct the service, evaluate it and determine how it should develop.

As with all our services, Gellinudd is underpinned by our unique Recovery Programme which promotes self-management and a holistic approach to recovery. Guests identify their recovery goals in a comprehensive Care and Treatment Plan which covers the all of the following life areas:-

Recovery_diagram_eng

In the process, Guests are empowered to become independent and to overcome the “revolving door” syndrome (a cyclical pattern of short-term readmissions to psychiatric units).

To support progress, Hafal provides “step-up” accommodation and a number of community-based services so that Guests can move on stage-by-stage towards independent living. The recovery focus of our service ensures Guests move on from the service as soon as they are ready, and that they are equipped and supported to continue to work towards recovery.

We take a Prudent Healthcare approach in developing all our services. The recovery focus of Gellinudd ensures that Guests are provided with a therapeutic, progressive and inspirational environment. Guests are supported to progress and move on instead of being maintained in their current condition, so that the ongoing cost of care – both in human and financial terms – will be reduced.

The result is a service that sets new standards for in-patient care. We look forward to developing and sharing our model of best practice in Wales, the UK – and the world. We’ll keep you up-to-date on its progress!

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