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Leeds-based NHS Trusts agree future leadership of new children’s mental health unit

An artist's impression

The leadership of a brand new mental health inpatient unit for children and young people will be taken forward by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) next year.

The new £20m 22-bed West Yorkshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Inpatient Unit is currently under construction at the St Mary’s Hospital site in Armley, Leeds, and is due to open in late 2021.

The venture is a partnership between Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH); Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) and West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, with LCH currently providing the regional inpatient CAMHS unit and the local community CAMHS in Leeds.

Following Board-level discussions, it has been agreed that responsibility for providing inpatient care at the facility will transfer to LYPFT from 1 April 2021. LCH will continue to run the current West Yorkshire unit based at Little Woodhouse Hall in Leeds until April 2021, when its dedicated clinical team will be welcomed into LYPFT as part of a straight forward transfer arrangement.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“This decision rests on a regional commitment to improve mental health care for children and young people, at every level of need, in Leeds and beyond. LCH will continue to provide expertise to the new unit as the city’s lead for general children’s services, and in our role as the provider of community based CAMHS services. Highly specialist mental health support, including psychiatric intensive care, is best served by Leeds’ specialist mental health provider trust.

Our focus continues to be our current service users and staff and we are committed to supporting them through the transition.”

LYPFT is the current provider of Leeds’ mental health inpatient care for adults and older people; including psychiatric intensive care alongside a range of other specialist inpatient mental health services. It also delivers specialist mental health services across the region and the North of England; including a well-established CAMHS inpatient unit at Mill Lodge in York.

Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a great example of partnership working at its best. Our shared ambition is to ensure we deliver the right care, at the right time, and in the right place for children who require highly specialist mental health support. 

“With LYPFT being the expert provider of inpatient and specialist mental health care, our Boards felt this was the right thing to do to achieve our ambition. I look forward to welcoming in our new colleagues and taking this service forward.”

The trusts will continue to work in collaboration and with wider partners across the region to deliver on this ambitious project for West Yorkshire.

Background: The West Yorkshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Inpatient Unit

This 22-bed state of the art unit is currently being built on the St Mary’s Hospital site in Armley, Leeds. It will provide much-needed space and modern facilities for children and young people with mental health needs from across the whole of West Yorkshire when it opens in late autumn 2021.

It's a huge and important step forward in the region's mental health services and will mean that children and young people can get the care they need close to home. At the moment, many of them have to be placed where beds are available and this can be many miles from home and their loved ones which can hinder some young people’s progress and recovery.

The new Unit, which has been designed with input from young people, has a multi-purpose activity room, educational facilities, a room for family visits and an enclosed garden for the young people and the staff who will be caring for them. There will also be a health-based place of safety for young people in crisis who need urgent help (Section 136).

The Unit is a joint venture between Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT). It will replace the current in-patient CAMHS base in the Grade II listed Little Woodhouse Hall in Leeds.

Find out more about the new CAMHS Unit.

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