Designed by patients: the mental health centre saving the NHS £300,000 a year

The patients who use the Gellinudd Recovery Centre have a say in everything from policy to the decor. Could co-produced innovations be the future for mental health care?

Soft, neatly folded blankets hang invitingly over the backs of the modern but comfy armchairs in the Gellinudd Recovery Centre’s communal living room. In the en suite bedrooms, there are white waffle slippers and dressing gowns embroidered with the centre’s tree symbol. Staff and guests – those who stay are not termed patients – join forces to cook, clean and tend the fruit and veg they then sit down to eat together at Gellinudd, which is the UK’s first inpatient mental health centre to be designed by service users and their carers.

“If you’re a psychiatrist you’ll still be expected to be in the kitchen chopping vegetables alongside everyone else,” says the centre’s director.

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