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New mental health unit in Leeds for young people

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) in partnership with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) has submitted a planning application for a new mental health in-patient unit for young people in West Yorkshire.

If approved, the brand new, purpose-built unit would be built on the St Mary’s Hospital site in Armley, Leeds. It will provide 22 in-patient beds and deliver much needed improvements and facilities for young people across West Yorkshire.

The funding for the building was one of 12 successful bids for NHS England capital funds in November 2017. Since then, additional funding has been secured to develop and include in the new facility a health based place of safety, also known as a Section 136 Suite. This is a place of safety where a young person who is thought to be in immediate need of care will receive a mental assessment to ensure the most appropriate care is provided.

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.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We would like to thank everyone who has shared their ideas and expertise to create a modern, fit for purpose, child and adolescent mental health unit. Everyone’s involvement has been hugely valuable. It has helped us to work closely with architects to design a building that will meet the needs of children and young people across West Yorkshire. Submitting our planning application is another important step forward in our ambition to provide outstanding services for children and young people.”

The proposed Unit includes 16 general en-suite bedrooms, six psychiatric intensive care (PICU) en-suite bedrooms, lounge and dining areas, multi-purpose activity room, school, meeting rooms, family visiting room, reception area, kitchen, courtyards and a green communal space amongst other facilities for service users and staff.

 An 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.

Dr Sara Munro, CEO for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and CEO Lead for the Partnership’s Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Collaborative said: ‘Over the past 12 months we have built a strong partnership approach across the area to improve our services by working together.  Working in this way means we can invest more in community services ensuring we have services as close to children and young people’s home as possible. This unit will reduce the need for children and young people to go out of area for care.”

The official planning application is also available for comment on Leeds City Council's website

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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