Denbighshire mental health practitioners become first in Wales to receive top award


Suzanne Jordan

A TEAM of mental health practitioners have become the first in Wales to receive a top accreditation for their work.

Hafod Community Mental Health Team, a joint service between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Denbighshire County Council, is the first in Wales and only the fourth in the UK to receive the Accreditation for Community Mental Health Services from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The accreditation has been given in recognition of their "exemplary practice" across 31 key areas identified by mental health professionals, carers and service users.

The Hafod team provide care, support and treatment for more than 550 people across North Denbighshire every year living with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and severe depressive disorder. They are one of 11 dedicated Community Mental Health teams who provide care, support and treatment to people with mental illnesses across North Wales.

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board’s Clinical Network Manager, Gaynor Kehoe said: “The team, led by Nicci Astle, Dawn Hunter and Karen Danby, have worked tirelessly over the last 12 months to receive this recognition and they are immensely proud of what they have achieved.

“They have all worked so hard and their commitment and motivation has certainly paid off.”

Phil Gilroy, Denbighshire County Council’s Head of Community Support Services, said: “This is excellent news and a good example of Health and Social Care working together to meet the needs of our citizens."

Senior Nurse, Nicci Astle added: “The whole team are absolutely delighted that the Royal College of Psychiatrists have recognised our commitment to providing the very best care, support and treatment to people living with mental illnesses across North Denbighshire. Our work is extremely rewarding and we have all worked extremely hard to achieve this important accreditation.”

The multidisciplinary team, which consists of health professionals and social workers, was awarded the accreditation following feedback from service users, carers, and other healthcare professionals and following an inspection by a project worker from the Royal College of Psychiatry.

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