Hafal 180The Welsh Government has awarded £500,000 in Invest to Save funding to mental health charity Hafal to support the development of its new Recovery Centre. 

In a written statement, Jane Hutt AM said: “The funds will support the development of a 15-bed mental health treatment centre which will offer a progressive and recovery-focused service for people experiencing mental illness.  This is the first treatment centre of its kind in Wales and will not only be of benefit to patients but will generate estimated [year-on-year] savings of £300,000 for the NHS in Wales.”

Gellinudd Recovery Centre, which will launch in the autumn, will offer recovery-focused support and treatment for people with a serious mental illness. The Centre has a 15-bed capacity and is located in Pontardawe – a town near Swansea, with ready access to the Gower peninsula, the Brecon Beacon mountain range and many other areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The Recovery Centre will provide a unique service in Wales, giving service commissioners the option of a not-for-profit service delivered by a third sector organisation which has a strong recovery ethos and is run by people with direct experience of mental illness.

This is the first time Invest to Save funding has been awarded to a third sector-led project. Invest to Save is a short-term pool of resources available to help public service organisations transform the way that they work. The fund supports the introduction of new or proven ways of working so that public services become more efficient and effective.

Hafal’s chair, Elin Jones, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded Invest to Save funding to support the development of this exciting venture. The Gellinudd Recovery Centre will provide a unique and progressive service for people experiencing serious mental illness and in need of hospital treatment. The project has already received support from the Big Lottery Fund, and with this additional support from the Welsh Government we look forward to establishing an innovative service, which is ambitious for its clients and which sets new standards of best practice for Wales.”

Alun Thomas, chief executive of Hafal, added: “At Hafal we take a Prudent Healthcare approach to developing all our services, and we are delighted that this has been recognised by the Welsh Government. 

“Our unique recovery-focused services at Gellinudd Recovery Centre will ensure that service users are provided with a therapeutic, progressive and inspirational service which will empower them to take strides towards recovery from serious mental illness. Guests will be supported to progress and move on instead of being maintained in their current condition, and the ongoing cost of care – in human and financial terms – will be greatly reduced.” 

Alison Guyatt, director of the Gellinudd Recovery Centre, who has worked as a senior mental health nurse in the NHS for many years, said: "Gellinudd Recovery Centre will… provide a unique environment for our guests, which empowers them to take control of their recovery and have opportunities to develop in all areas of their lives as they work towards recovery.

“I'm absolutely delighted by the support this ambitious new Centre has received from all quarters, including the Welsh Government, the Big Lottery Fund, the local community, health professionals, commissioners and, of course, from Hafal's Members. Together we will create a new service which will be a benchmark for in-patient services. Watch this space!”