NEIL Hamilton, UKIP Leader in Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, has congratulated a health board for being in line to receive national recognition for a mental health project.

Hywel Dda University Health Board is the only Welsh entry shortlisted for a Royal College of Psychiatry (RCPsych) award, for its dedication to improve adult mental health services in mid and west Wales.

The RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement in psychiatry and recognise the work being carried out by teams working in mental health care.

The project team have been shortlisted in the ‘Team of the Year: Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Service Development’ category, for the Transforming Mental Health Services ‘Journey to Recovery’ project.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Culture, said he was delighted a team in his Region had been shortlisted. He said:

“In these challenging days for the NHS, it is always good to hear success stories from our health boards. The project has quite clearly impressed the judges and the mental health team should be praised for all their hard work.

“Not only is this a great achievement for staff but it obviously benefits patients as well. Everyone involved should be proud of the fruits of their efforts and they richly deserve congratulations.

“The project is showing the way for Wales and could well be a blueprint for the future.”

The project involved a public consultation with over 1,000 people, who were asked for their opinions on proposals to change how care and treatment is provided to meet the mental health needs of people, now, as well as future generations.

Working together with service users, staff, partners, including West Wales Action for Mental Health and the Community Health Council, a new model of care was co-designed for mental health services, built from learning from engagement, co-design, international collaboration and public consultation.

This included a 24 hour service for anyone needing help with mental health and subsequent support.

Joe Teape, Deputy Chief Executive for Hywel Dda University Health Board and Chair of the Mental Health Implementation Programme Group said: “We began this journey three years ago by being clear about the need to move away from a traditional service model to redesigning services for the benefit of local people.

“The Transforming Mental Health Services programme has helped us to think differently about how we approach designing, planning and delivering services locally. With our co-developed model approved for implementation we will work continue to work in a co-produced way to ensure that we deliver flexible, responsive, and accessible mental health services.

“I’m incredibly proud and grateful to everyone whose hard work has helped to get us to this point – it’s truly been a team effort.”

The award winners will be announced at a ceremony in London in November.

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