Centres of Excellence - developing expertise in the UK

Centres of Excellence - developing expertise in the UK

The VdTMoCA Foundation (UK) was awarded a charitable donation in 2013 for the purpose of developing three sites within the NHS and/or Independent Healthcare as examples of good-excellent practice in the application of the VdTMoCA.

These sites will benefit the occupational therapy profession in the UK through clear demonstration of correct application of the model in practice.  This will enable the profession to better understand the model applied in differing settings, set standards for application of the model in practice and provide reliable contexts in which research can be undertaken on the model.  The potential benefits to the site include achieving good-excellent knowledge and skills for use of the model, improved staff confidence and job satisfaction, improved service delivery, raising and improving the profile of occupational therapy within the Trust / organisation and attracting research/service development funding.




Centre of Excellence Standards

Interested in becoming a Centre of Excellence?  See the Centre of Excellence Standards that you have to meet and provide evidence of, in order to achieve the VdTMoCAF (UK) Centre of Excellence status.

Please note that to date the existing centres of Excellence have developed over a number of years and with the support of experts in the model. The forensic Centre of Excellence developed over an 18 month project of input from the VdTMoCAF (UK), which was funded by a charitable donation to undertake this work.  There are cost implications for the Foundation to assess, provide input to, develop and award Centre of Excellence status.  Therefore, the Foundation is strategically developing centres according to available funds.

The purpose of the VdTMoCAF (UK) Centres of Excellence, is to be examples of good practice in a particular field.  Therefore, it is not necessary to have multiple centres of the same field.  Hence, there is currently one centre for acute mental health, and one for forensic practice.  Currently, the VdTMoCAF (UK) is considering funding a project to develop a learning disabilities service as a Centre of Excellence.  Applications will be invited in due course.  However, if you consider your service to meet the Centres of Excellence standards (in any field of practice), and you would like to be considered as a Centre of Excellence, please express your interest to wendysherwood@vdtmocaf-uk.com




The first UK Centre of Excellence - Adult Acute Mental Health In-Patient Services, Northamptonshire

The first UK Centre of Excellence - Adult Acute Mental Health In-Patient Services, Northamptonshire

The adult acute mental health in-patient services within Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust comprise of an assessment ward, two recovery wards and an Intensive Care Unit at Berrywood Hospital in the south of the county and an assessment ward and two recovery wards at the Welland Centre in the north of the county.

Using the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA) has been the catalyst for exciting and significant change in service delivery within these services since 2010.  Read more about this here.

With ongoing participation in continuing professional development initiatives, the adult acute OT departments at Berrywood Hospital and the Welland Centre proudly became the first Centre of Excellence in 2013.  We have been hosting regular open days since and contributing practice examples to the Foundation's book - The VdTMoCA: A practical guide for acute mental health occupational therapy practice.




FORENSIC SERVICE - The Second UK Centre of Excellence - Robinson Ward, William Wake House, St.Andrews Healthcare, Northampton

FORENSIC SERVICE - The Second UK Centre of Excellence - Robinson Ward, William Wake House, St.Andrews Healthcare, Northampton

Robinson Ward was granted the Centre of Excellence award for use of the VdTMoCA within a Forensic setting at the VdTMoCA International Conference in July 2015. The title is an honor to have and we need to strive to maintain this status. Although we have embedded the model in to practice there is a continued to need to develop our service and every day is a new learning opportunity. We spent a great deal of time and invested much effort in to changing our clinical practices and procedures. However all of the work has been a great benefit to ourselves, consolidating and developing our roles as expert clinicians, in our patients to see the growth and change and with the MDT who now understand and appreciate the contribution we make to a patients recovery. 

As learning and implementing this model challenges you as an Occupational Therapist, changes your assessment processes, the way you implement and evaluate treatment within an ever changing and demanding culture for the need to provide outcomes of intervention, we would like to share our journey with you. 



Sharing Best Practice - Centre of Excellence Open days

Sharing Best Practice - Centre of Excellence Open days

Centre of Excellence open days are provided during the year for the purpose of sharing knowledge, experience and resources with those interested in developing the use of the model in their own service.  This is a great opportunity for OTs, support workers, managers and MDT members to visit and learn about how the teams developed and deliver their services and also to network with other services across the country who will be visiting.

These open days have been provided since 2013 and welcomes participants from all over the UK and a variety of clinical fields.

For the two Centre of Excellence sites, offering open days is a natural extension of our development as a service, and each open day is improved upon and changes made – our own journey of creative growth as we build upon our experience and strive to contribute to the wider community of practitioners.

We do have a few comments each time that a recap on the principles of the VdTMoCA would be a useful start to the day, but unfortunately we cannot extend the content of the day any more to include this - It is jam packed already! We want the day to be about sharing our experiences as a community of VdTMoCA ‘enthusiasts’, and not to become a training event. We hope that those who are interested in implementing the model in practice and therefore participants will need to attend with a basic knowledge of the model.

All participants feed back that they would recommend the open day to others and have gained ideas, inspiration or more confidence in what they are already achieving, so what are you waiting for…

PLEASE SELECT AN OPEN DAY FROM THOSE LISTED BELOW TO ATTEND DEPENDING ON YOUR CLINICAL AREA.  It is not appropriate to attend open days from both services as content will be similar.  

You have the choice of attending an open day for acute and community mental health/rehab/LD services hosted by Berrywood Hospital OR one for forensic/secure/long stay/treatment resistant services hosted by St.Andrews.




Berrywood Open Days

Berrywood Open Days

WE are having a break in 2017 while we review our open day format.  2018 dates will be published soon. 

Please contact sarahwilson@vdtmocaf-uk.com to register your interest in attending.


Look at the Open Day Feedback from our October 2016 open day to see what participants thought and to see what you too could gain from attending.  


Cost is £25 per person which includes provision of lunch.

Payment will be taken through a PayPal invoice (note you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay this way). Payment is non-refundable but can be transferred to a different person if unable to attend.


The day will be held in the Willow Room at Berrywood Hospital, Berrywood Drive, Duston, Northants.  NN5 6UD

The timetable of the day is as follows:

09:00               Refreshments available on arrival

09:30               'The Implementation of the VdT Model of Creative Ability at Berrywood'

Structured morning presentation - detailing how the model has been instrumental in the transformation of the adult acute mental health OT in-patient service, and steps taken in implementation.

12:00                LUNCH

12:30-14:00       Marketplace stands

With information and resources on documentation, treatment sessions, outcome measurement and so on.  A chance to mingle and discuss with staff who are using the model in practice and gain ideas.

14:00                 Conclusion of the morning presentation

With interactive Q&A session to discuss thoughts, queries and guide your action plans for return to your clinical areas.

15:30                 END


Remember it is essential that you have a basic understanding of the model as this is not an educational event but an event that will assist and support services in implementing the model into practice.

You can also purchase our Foundation publications at the open day which saves you P&P!




St. Andrews Open Days

This open day is for Occupational Therapists interested in the VdT Model of Creative Ability. The day will explain how the model can be used effectively in a forensic setting, supporting highly challenging patients on their recovery journey.

Programme for the day:
9.30am       Coffee & Registration
10.00am      Welcome
10.10am      Implementing the VdT Model of Creative Ability in a forensic service – Louise Jeffries, senior Occupational Therapist, St Andrew’s Healthcare and Co-Director of the VdT Model of Creative Ability Foundation UK
This session will help you to understand how the VdT Model of Creative Ability was implemented in Robinson, a medium secure men’s mental health service.  You will find out how the initial analytical survey identified patients’ needs and where the service needed to focus and develop OT treatment. We will cover a detailed description of the steps taken, the processes put into place and the priorities for implementation.
11.15am    Coffee Break
11.30am     Presentation continued
Next, we will look at the OT process of assessment, identifying treatment priorities, planning and implementing intervention and how the model has changed these practices. The use of the Activity Participation Outcome Measure will be used to demonstrate tangible change in patients’ level of function as a direct result of OT intervention. We will discuss the process of change to adapt the existing programme and how the levels of Creative Ability helped to focus the therapy programme.
We will present examples of new activities introduced to the programme, taking into consideration patients’ limited ability to engage in a varied programme and looking at the restrictions of medium security.  The session will conclude with an overview of how the OT team introduced the model to the MDT and how the team is now looking to further embed the model in to practice.
12.30pm     Lunch (included)
During lunch attendees will have the opportunity to observe displays of programmes, relevant documentation and activity ideas. You will also have the opportunity to network with colleagues.
1.45pm       Group exercise - what are the challenges for implementing the model in your service?
Attendees will work in groups to discuss the above. Facilitators will spend time with each group to discuss potential opportunities for implementation and any barriers.  Each group will be asked to create an action plan and share their plan with the delegates.  
2:30pm       Groups to feedback their ideas
3:00pm       Questions, discussion and close


Booking Details:

Our next open day is on Thursday 6th July 2017 at St.Andrews Healthcare, Northampton. Click here

For more information please contact louisejeffries@vdtmocaf-uk.com or ljeffries@standrew.co.uk 

Remember it is essential that you have a basic understanding of the model as this is not an educational event but an event that will assist and support services in to implementing the model in to practise. 

We look forward to sharing our experiences with you. 

Louise Jeffries

Senior Occupational Therapist & Co-Director for the VdTMoCAF (UK)

Research and Networking

Research and Networking

Connections for participation.

Centres of Excellence

Centres of Excellence

Developing UK services as exemplars of the model in practice. Visit the first centre.

Training, CPD and Resources

Training, CPD and Resources

Find out how you can develop your creative ability.

In Global Contexts

In Global Contexts

The cross-national relevance of the VdT MoCA.

Assessment and Treatment

Assessment and Treatment

Assessment, Assessment recording tools and outcome measures

What is the VdT MoCA

What is the VdT MoCA

The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (Vdt MoCA) is an occupational therapy practice model originating from South Africa.