Consultant and volunteer from GMMH win prestigious regional mental health awards | Awards and accreditations

Awards, Accreditations and Points of Pride

The last two years have been the most challenging in the history of the NHS and we must not underestimate the significant effort that has taken place to respond at pace to the requirements of the pandemic. As the pandemic has progressed, we have seen a rise in the level of mental health needs and acuity and an increasing demand for services and mental health support. Our staff, across all services, both clinical and corporate, have worked tirelessly during the changing demands of the pandemic to adjust, expand and flex the delivery of services to meet the needs of our service users to ensure the least disruption to their care.

We have much to be proud of as an organisation.

  • Living Wage – we have been a Living Wage Employer since 2015 and celebrated our 7-year anniversary in 2022.
  • Vaccination Programme - Through our Gold Command arrangements, we have delivered a comprehensive and speedy vaccination programme to both our staff and service users and have established robust Infection, Prevention and Control arrangements to ensure the safety of all.
  • The Trust’s Recovery Academy , which supports over 7,000 students, returned to face-to-face learning, whilst improving the service by providing access to all the online resources they had built up during the pandemic.
  • The first Green Health Walk opened on the Trust’s Prestwich site , constructed by Sow the City. It was co-designed with service users and staff at the Trust to promote the physical and mental benefits of greenspace and exercise by exploring designated walking routes across our Prestwich site. This innovative approach was proudly exhibited at COP26 - the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Glasgow in autumn 2021. This forms part of GMMH’s Green Plan, which was launched in January 2022 as a ‘blueprint for the next five years’ to support the national NHS net zero pledge.
  • Supported Internship Scheme  - In March 2022, we joined a Supported Internship Scheme which helps young people with learning disabilities to access support, education, and work experience with the goal of progressing into permanent employment. To date, six interns have been placed into roles within their Facilities department in areas such as Catering, Administration, Transport & Logistics and Domestic Services; and one has been offered a permanent position.
  • Breakthrough success of study using virtual reality (VR) to treat mental health problems trialled in Manchester. A national study, delivered by nine NHS Trusts, including GMMH, has found that automated virtual reality (VR) technology can successfully help people recover from mental health problems (April 2022).
  • Workforce - GMMH has been rated ‘Good’ in all areas of our education and training programme for apprentices, following an inspection by Ofsted in May 2022.  
  • Partnership working - A partnership between GMMH, Greater Manchester Police and the North-west Ambulance Service, aimed at improving care for people experiencing a mental health crisis, has been hailed a success. Just six months in (May 2022), over 1,100 cases had been diverted from frontline NWAS and GMP services, with quality NHS mental health support being provided instead.
  • Improving health outcomes for under-served populations - A Research Unit dedicated to researching inequalities in mental and physical healthcare has been launched by GMMH during Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week (May 2022). The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Research Unit is funded by GMMH, and led by Professor Dawn Edge, Professor of Mental Health & Inclusivity at GMMH and The University of Manchester.
  • Improving North Manchester – We're investing £105 million in modern facilities with the construction of a new adult mental health inpatient unit to replace Park House on the North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) site. Work on the North View site started in August 2022 with the new unit anticipated to be built and operational by 2024.The modern facilities will utilise the latest technology and therapeutic design, to ensure an environment that is both conducive to recovery and pleasant to live in, work at and visit. In June 2022, the new development won a Design in Mental Health Award in the ‘Service User Engagement’ category.
  • The Greater Manchester Universities Student Mental Health Service a partnership between GMMH, NHS Greater Manchester, and the region’s five universities - has been hailed a success (July 2022).
  • Achieve - In July 2022, an external evaluation found that the Trust’s Achieve Drug and Alcohol Service’s approach to partnership-working is effective in supporting recovery from substance misuse, and could be rolled out in other geographical areas. Drug and Alcohol Recovery services for Bolton, Bury, Salford and Trafford have been praised in an evaluation report, undertaken by SQW, an independent research and consultancy organisation.  
  • An evaluation of Living Well Salford (15 August 2022) found that the service has supported people to achieve improved outcomes. The service offers support co-designed by people with lived experience of mental health problems and has also been shortlisted for ‘Mental Health Innovation of the Year’ in the prestigious national Health Service Journal awards 2022.
  • CPR training technology In Oct 2022, GMMH became the first mental health trust to install state of the art CPR training technology. The technology, called Brayden Online, combines a traditional mannequin with an iOS application which uses a cloud server, allowing staff to undertake CPR training at a time, date and location that is flexible for them.
  • National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2022 - we’ve been recognised in the awards (6 October 2022) for a project run by GMMH using a technology called ‘Management and Supervision Tool’ (MaST) to support clinical care and patient safety in Community Mental Health Teams.
  • Research - We’re proud to be an NHS Partner of a bid for Greater Manchester awarded its largest ever research funding (October 2022) to tackle health inequalities and drive health improvements across the city region. This investment will support the delivery of important research into mental health care and treatment at the Biomedical Research Centre in Manchester. 
  • Ceramicists from our  Recovery Pathways service have contributed to the Manchester City Council’s Be Proud Awards 2022 by creating a series sculptures as prizes for winners.
  • NHS Talking Therapies – during 2020/21, more people than ever accessed talking therapies.  Across Bolton, Salford, Manchester, and Trafford, almost 25,000 people completed a full course of NHS talking therapy.
  • NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award - The award recognises our Trust’s work in international recruitment and our commitment to providing internationally educated nurses and midwives with high-quality pastoral care.

Find out more about awards our staff and teams have received below.

Consultant and volunteer from GMMH win prestigious regional mental health awards

Two individuals from Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust have won awards at the prestigious RCPsych North West Division Awards 2021.

Avril Clarke, Service User Representative and Governor, has been awarded North West Service User of the Year and Dr Kishen Neelam, Lead Consultant Psychiatrist has won the North West Division Consultant of the Year Award.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the United Kingdom, and supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement.

The regional awards recognise the amazing stories of individuals across the North West who have contributed to support mental health care.

Winners were announced at the virtual awards event with the 2021 Dean’s Lecture on Thursday 25 November.

Dr Alice Seabourne, Medical Director, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am really delighted that Avril and Kishen have received these awards. I’m always so impressed in our service users and staff and this is great recognition for two individuals who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. They should rightly be proud of all they have done, as we all are here at the Trust.”


The winners:

North West Division Service User of the Year Award – Avril Clarke

Avril Clarke smiling outside holding surface pro

Avril Clarke is a Service User Representative and Governor for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, based in Trafford.

Over the past 12 months Avril has made an invaluable contribution to service delivery and improvement by increasing her volunteer activity supporting the Trust’s response to the pandemic. She put herself forward as a Community Responder supporting people in isolation, and a Transport Volunteer delivering essential PPE supplies to services and IT equipment to staff working from home.

Avril has supported Trafford Community Services establishing a Service User Forum, enabling the Trust to listen to a broad range of experiences, and engaged in local Community Transformation Programmes representing people with personality difficulties. She has also co-facilitated training for staff, service users and carers within the Trust’s Recovery Academy.

She has had an active membership of the Trust’s Park House Development Project Team overseeing the building of a new mental health inpatient unit, offering a modern, therapeutic environment for people with severe mental illness. Avril has shared both her lived experience and creative mind to develop the plans for the build and the services to be delivered from it.

Her nominators have praised her commitment to improving mental health services, particularly for people with a diagnosis of personality disorder, and have admired her honesty, openness and emotional intelligence. Avril has made a huge contribution to changing the culture of mental health services.


North West Division Consultant of the Year Award - Dr Kishen Neelam

Kishen Neelam standing in front of pink wall smiling



Dr Kishen Neelam, based at Barnett House in Bolton, is a Lead Consultant Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

He has been praised for his approach to leading GMMH’s mental health services across Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Manchester and Wigan during the pandemic, and his strong passion and commitment to ensuring Greater Manchester’s communities continue to receive vital mental health support and treatment throughout.

During the pandemic, Dr Neelam led on a research study looking into the impact of pandemics in people with pre-existing mental illness. The results found that this group experienced significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression during a pandemic; which has had a direct impact on the care and support offered widely by mental health services during this time.

Dr Neelam led on the design of a digital Management and Supervision Tool (MAST) to support community mental health staff to manage risk and improve patient safety across the Trust. In June 2021, he led on the successful implementation of MAST in 15 Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) across Greater Manchester.

Dr Neelam was also the mental health lead for the Greater Manchester Care Record (GMCR). The GMCR brings together key patient medical information (from acute hospitals, GMMH, Local authorities and GPs) into one easy to access portal. This means the patient’s full medical profile can be considered and the most appropriate approach to care and treatment can be provided, wherever patients receive support.

As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust

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