A new £13million child and adolescent mental health unit is set to be built in Leeds (subject to business case approval) after it was announced as one of 12 successful bids to receive NHS England capital funds in the recent budget. Building work is expected to begin in 2018 once the preferred site has been confirmed with NHS England.
The successful bid, led by Leeds Community Health Care NHS Trust on behalf of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership, will see a new purpose-built specialist community child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) unit to support young people suffering complex mental illness, for example, severe personality and eating disorders.
There are currently eight general adolescent beds which are provided by Leeds Community NHS Healthcare Trust in Leeds. This new unit will bring a significant increase and provide 18 specialist places and four psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) beds.
Thea Stein, CEO for Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Our ambition is to make sure that no child or young person within West Yorkshire goes out of area for treatment. This is better for them, their families and better for the local health and care economy.
Building this new unit supports both national and regional priorities – to reduce the area that children, young people and their families have to travel to receive specialist mental health care. A lot of work has taken place to review and better understand the child and adolescent mental health services. Children and young people accessing high-quality care, and, importantly, what needs to change is a priority to us all”.
Rory Deighton from Healthwatch in Kirklees said: “People have been talking to Healthwatch organisations across the area about their children’s mental health ever since we started. It’s good to hear that the NHS is listening to the experiences of families, and investing in this important service”.
Rob Webster, CEO for South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Health and Care Partnership CEO Lead said: “We are delighted that this much-needed unit has been chosen to receive funding. This is firmly in line with our plans for children and young people’s mental health and shows the benefits of working together. We can now do two things – deliver joined up care in communities with NHS, council and voluntary and community organisation; and have the confidence that we can access the best hospital care possible in the right environment. This new unit will mean children and young people who require an inpatient bed will be able to get the care they need closer to their homes, making it easier for their family and carers to visit.”