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New mental health unit in Leeds for young people

Leeds City Council has granted planning permission for a new mental health inpatient unit for young people in West Yorkshire. 

The new unit will be built on the St Mary’s Hospital site in Armley, Leeds, providing 22 inpatient beds and much needed improvements and facilities for children and young people across West Yorkshire. This will include a range of spacious therapeutic areas - including a multi-purpose activity room, educational facilities, a family visiting room, courtyards and a green communal space for service users and staff. There will also be a health-based place of safety in the unit, where a young person who is thought to be in urgent need of care will receive a mental health assessment to ensure they get the most appropriate support. 

The finalised plans for the new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) unit were developed with young people and their families, and will deliver a high quality environment and the best possible care for young people. 

Work will soon be underway on the St Mary’s Hospital site, with the demolition of some existing buildings due to take place in February 2020, and a start on building the new unit planned to due at the end of April 2020. The unit will be open from September 2021.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust which provides the regional CAMHS service, welcomed the planning green light. “This purpose-built CAMHS Unit will be truly transformational in so many ways and I look forward to the day we are able to move in. I’d also like to thank the local community and its representatives for being so welcoming to the development during the pre-planning stages. We will do all we can to make sure we are a good neighbour during construction and beyond.” 

Dr Sara Munro, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive and CEO Lead for the regional Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism collaborative, added: “The West Yorkshire and Harrogate collaborative have been working closely together to develop a better way of providing care and treatment for young people with complex mental health issues across the region. 

This unit will help us to reduce the number of children and young people in West Yorkshire and Harrogate who have to leave their local area to receive the care they need. It’s a situation we’ve been keen to change and I’m pleased we’ve reached this important milestone.”

A public information event was held in September 2018 to gain feedback on the initial proposals.  Since then, LCH has continued to work with staff, specialist staff and partners in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), young people who access support and their carers and the local community to understand their needs and how they think the new unit should look and feel.

The Trust has finalised plans for the new CAMHS unit based on this feedback and has created the best possible environment and experience for young people accessing care.

The artist’s impression pictured shows how the multi-million pound mental health inpatient unit could look.

The new unit supports both national and regional priorities - to reduce the distance that children, young people and their families have to travel to receive specialist mental health care and this is a key priority for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.

The finalised plans were on display for local people to view and comment on site during July. Here is a report based on the feedback we were given. 

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