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Foundations for West Yorkshire CAMHS Unit started

Foundations for the new £14.5 million West Yorkshire CAMHS (West Yorkshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) unit are underway in Leeds. Site preparations began in January, and a start has now been made on the building itself.

The 22 bed unit, which is being built in Armley, will provide care and support for children and young people across West Yorkshire with specialist mental health needs.

A joint venture between Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) it will provide specialist care in therapeutic areas, including a multi-purpose activity room and educational facilities. A family visiting room and a green communal space will be available for those receiving support as well as staff providing care. There will also be a health-based place of safety in the unit for young people in crisis and in need of urgent help.

The unit is one of the priority pieces from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP), a partnership of councils, the NHS, Healthwatch, third sector and communities. The unit was developed using the expert views of clinicians and those receiving support for their mental health needs i.e. young people. Their views were actively considered during the planning process to help ensure the best arrangements are in place to meet their needs.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust which provides the children, adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), said: ‘I look forward to the day when we move in and most importantly when we provide the highest quality of care possible to children and young people in a purpose built environment, designed to be a good place to get well’.

Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and CEO Lead for the regional Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism collaborative, said:

‘The West Yorkshire and Harrogate collaborative have been working together to improve how young people with complex mental health problems across the region get the support they need. The new unit is an important part of this work, and its location in Armley will bring opportunities for employment to local people. I’m pleased that construction has started and I look forward to seeing the building work take shape over the coming months.’

Interserve Group Limited, the international support services, construction and equipment group started work on site in February 2020. The unit is due to be open in the autumn of 2021.

Thea and Sara added: ‘We’d like to thank the local community and representatives for being supportive of the development of this unit in the planning stage. We will do all we can to make sure we are a good neighbour during construction and beyond’.

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