“Keeping your health at the centre of what we do”



Nature; There is something to be wondered at in all of Nature – ‘Aristotle’

What is Mental Health Awareness Week?

This is an annual event where we get to focus the community on achieving ‘Good Mental Health’. Every year the Mental Health Foundation, which started 21 years ago in the UK identifies a theme, which will focus on one particular aspect of good Mental Health, this year, the theme is Nature, chosen because of Natures know effect way of tackling Mental Health and protecting our wellbeing.

This last year, has been difficult and challenging, with a pandemic, lockdowns, loss of loved and the isolation all of this can bring. The Mental Health Foundation, through their research, found that Nature had been one of the ways, we have tried to sustain our own good mental health. With this in mind, we are trying to encourage the local community to take note, using our sensory organs, sight, smell, taste, touch, look at the tress, plants around us. Try to eat fresh fruit, for a health balanced diet, listen to the birds singing around you.

The Mental health service would like to encourage the community to connect to Nature, maybe in new ways by noticing the connection of one’s mental health and the impact Nature can have on this. We have organised a number of activities in order to encourage our patients and the community to start taking notice of Nature, listen to the birds, smell the freshly cut grass in Alameda Gardens and Commonwealth Park. Observe the plants growing in either your own patio / balcony or the surrounding areas, which we are lucky to have within Gibraltar.

We would like to encourage the community to:

  • Take some time for themselves, recognise the wonder of Nature around them.
  • Take a picture, share a picture, video or take a recording of that small bird singing on your patio.
  • Talk to each other, share how this week may have had a positive influence on you and your mental health. Share ideas of what you have experienced.

Phased Opening of the new Children’s Health Centre – Our Promise to you.

We will deliver a Children’s Health Centre which is far more than a Primary Care Centre for children with the co-location and seamless flow of all children’s health services across primary and secondary care.


We aim to deliver our services in a safe, secure, and phased manner, initially prioritising service availability to the most vulnerable among us; namely, the children and families with disabilities and additional needs, as well as those with chronic and complex medical conditions.  All of this with a view to becoming fully available to all children in Gibraltar by the beginning of September.

Phase 1 – 17 July 2019


This phase will be the move from the existing Primary Care Centre to the new site, and the setting up and induction of new services and new staff.


Primary Care

  • Child Health Clinics – Postnatal care, Hearing screens, 6-8 week baby checks, 2 ½ year old checks, Vaccinations.
  • Paediatric Physiotherapy.
  • Paediatric Occupational Therapy.
  • Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy.
  • Paediatric Dietician.
  • Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse Clinics.

Secondary Care

  • Gibraltar Young Minds (GYM).

Staff Induction Programme

  • Induction and transition period for Specialist GPs with an Expressed Interest in Paediatrics.

Phase 2 – 12 August 2019


This phase will be the implementation and consolidation of our essential and existing Children’s services.


Primary Care

  • Children’s Dental Clinics.
  • Occupational Therapy Sensory Room.


Phase 3 – 4 September 2019 

New specialist clinics and services, and the start of our plan to integrate primary and secondary care in to comprehensive and multidisciplinary teams.


Primary Care

  • Specialist GP service for Chronic or Complex medical needs, for children with additional needs, and to work closely with the Consultant Paediatric Service.
  • Nurse Practitioner Specialty Clinics, such as Asthma clinics.
  • Community Midwifery.
  • Child Protection/Looked-After-Children Medical assessments/reviews.

Secondary Care

  • A New Transition/Adolescent Service for those children who are between Paediatric and Adult services.
  • Consultant Paediatric service for all children with complex and chronic health needs.
  • Visiting Specialist Consultant Clinics.

Support services:

  • Paediatric phlebotomy
  • Play Therapy

It is important to note that patients should continue to attend the existing PCC at the International Commercial Centre.  For phases 1 and 2, attendances at the Children’s Health Centre at Europort will be by appointment only.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Hon Neil F. Costa MP is pleased to announce that the Gibraltar Health Authority’s first-ever dedicated Child and Adolescent Psychology Service will commence in January 2019. This psychology service represents a Gibraltar-specific format based on the NHS’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, known as CAMHS. This important announcement is timed to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

The much needed service, which has been the focus of representations by various charities and associations concerned with mental health, will be able to meet the mental health needs of children and their families in the community. The two clinical psychologists will be tasked with the development of a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency child & adolescent mental health service for Gibraltar, in the form of a new Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Service.

Mr Costa said that the introduction of the new service, which has been the product of advice and work by the GHA Mental Health Team and his Ministry over the last 18 months, reflects the GSLPLiberal Government’s enduring commitment to the continued expansion and modernisation of professional mental health services in the community. The new service, specifically, draws attention to the essential need to provide clinical services for children as part of a comprehensive community mental health programme.

The Child Psychology Team will be an integral part of the GHA Paediatric Neurodisability service to ensure that all children, especially those with additional needs, are afforded timely and effective professional mental health care by the relevant professionals. The Team will also assist in the development of locally relevant, individualised care plans for children and their families.

In the context of World Mental Health Day, it is important to note that:

1. in percentage terms, the level of investment in Gibraltar’s Mental Health has increased materially from almost 2% of the overall GHA budget in 2011/12 to over 6% in 2018;

2. since April of this year, the complement of Consultant Psychiatrists was increased from 3.5

to 4.5 full time posts. Of these posts, 2.5 are currently filled by substantive employees. Of the two remaining full time posts, one is being filled on a locum basis, until the commencement of the substantive post-holder on 7th January 2019; and one has been readvertised as the successful candidate subsequently turned down the offer of employment. This latter post is also being covered on a locum basis;

3. since 2011, the number of Registered Mental Health Nurses has increased by three and Mental Welfare Officers have increased from two to three. The recruitment process for a fourth is currently underway;

4. since 2011, the total staff numbers in all areas of Mental Health has increased by 30%, since the GSLP/LIB came into office in December 2011. In nursing only, numbers have increased in all grades from December 2011 to date: Sister/Charge Nurses from 5 to 7, Registered Mental Nurses from 28 to 31, Enrolled Nurses from 12 to 22 and Nursing Assistants from 15 to 16; 5. clinical psychologist posts have doubled from two to four;

6. since 2014, the GHA has employed a dedicated General Manager to oversee the Mental Health Service;

7. in 2015, the Government opened Ocean Views Mental Hospital, providing 52 beds over five wards as a replacement to the appalling KGV;

8. in 2017, Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar inaugurated the Bella Vista Day Centre and Hillsides Residential Home to assist those in the community living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia;

9. also in 2017,the GHA provided a two bedroomed flat, where former Ocean Views inpatients are supported in re-integrating into society and being able to live independently;

10. the GHA has also engaged the services of a second opinion additional Consultant Psychiatrist;

11. in June 2017, the GHA expanded community mental health services, with after hours and weekend nursing support and a crisis telephone line for known patients. Our partnership with Clubhouse Gibraltar, GibSams and the Mental Welfare Society, provide greater assistance to the more vulnerable persons; and

12. when the new Primary Care Centre opens, mental welfare and counselling services will be doubled.

The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa said: “The provision of mental health care in Gibraltar has, rightly, increased since we came into office. There have been well-documented radical improvements in the past seven years. The commencement of this valuable new child psychology and adolescent clinic is further testament of the importance my colleagues and I attach to mental health issues, to the care of the most vulnerable persons and to our community-centred approach to mental health. I would also like to sincerely thank the

Gibraltar Mental Welfare Society, Gibraltar Clubhouse and GibSams for their partnership, hard work and valuable advice. My Ministry, the GHA and I will continue to strive to ensure that all children can grow up healthily and in a happy environment. I can think of few projects more important and worthwhile than to secure all our communinuty’s children’s wellbeing.”

Full Press Release Can Be Downloaded Here


Eight nursing students from the School of Health Studies have completed their three-year programme of study, concluding with the award of Registered Nurse as well a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Adult Nursing. The eight students have undertaken their degree in Gibraltar. The degree is awarded by St George’s University of London and Kingston University London and they will be eligible to register locally with the Nurses, Midwives, Health Visitor Registration Board Gibraltar.

Read full press release:





It has come to the attention of the GHA that a post, which includes a photograph of an elderly gentleman at Mount Alvernia residential home, has been posted on Facebook.

Although the GHA does not comment on specific cases on social media, we feel that in the interests of transparency, it is important, exceptionally, to respond generally in terms of protocols followed when care plans are devised for individuals.

On occasions where an in-patient is medically discharged, and requires on-going care, GHA officials meet with authorised family members to discuss options and ascertain the most suitable environment, in the best interest of each individual patient. We would like to remind the public that SBH is an acute hospital setting and patients medically fit for discharge are either discharged to their former home environment, with packages of care where necessary, or to a residential care home.

Detailed clinical and social care assessments assist officials in determining the best way forward. Packages of care, for care at home, may be considered in cases when deemed appropriate, whereas ERS residential homes such as Mount Alvernia, John Mackintosh Home and Hillsides Residential Home are considered when residential care is necessary. All medically discharged patients, who are transferred to residential care, are done so following written consent and a further and second assessment is completed by the ERS team to determine were to assign the patient according to their specific care needs.   Patients who are discharged from St Bernard’s Hospital, living with dementia, also make use of the Bella Vista Day Centre, in cases where clinicians feel they would benefit from these services.

We would urge any patients or family members to use the appropriate, established pathways to highlight any concerns. For inpatients, concerns should first be directed to the ward sister/charge nurse. Most concerns will be resolved at this stage.  However, where appropriate, concerns will be escalated by the ward team to the Clinical Nurse Manager on duty.

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