Young people with severe or complex mental disorders will benefit from new inpatient facilities in the region, following their involvement in a major NHS England procurement process.
A 10 year contract with Humber NHS Foundation Trust will see the development of a new mental health service for young people in Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire as part of an ongoing national review of specialist Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
The vital new facilities will consist of general adolescent beds with co-located psychiatric intensive care beds (11 additional beds in total) to care for young people aged between 13 and 18 living with severe or complex mental disorders including depression, psychoses, eating disorders and severe anxiety disorders. The service will be able to look after young people who are in an acutely disturbed phase of a serious mental illness.
This week’s announcement follows a competitive tender process led by NHS England that has involved young people and their carers throughout the commissioning process, from the specification requirements to evaluating the bids to ensure the new service reflects as far as possible the needs and wants of patients and carers. Having services that were as central as possible with good transport connections and person centred care were among the priorities they wanted to see taken into account in the successful bidder’s plans for local services.
Regional Clinical Director for Specialised Commissioning in the North Dr Michael Gregory said: “Previously young people in need of inpatient stays with mental health pr oblems have faced treatment in facilities some distance from home – at a time when they have undoubtedly felt frightened and vulnerable. This is not a position any of us have wanted to see continue.
These new facilities will help us ensure they get the mental health support, care and therapy they need in an environment that is more familiar and local for them and their loved ones.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in helping NHS England with this tendering process, in particular the young people and their carers who have brought both frank and invaluable expertise to discussions about how these services are delivered in the future.”
Plans propose the new unit is sited near the centre of Hull and it will work alongside the existing Community Child and Adolescence Mental Health Services to enhance the offer of support to young people and their families who are experiencing difficulties with t heir mental health.
Over the last two years the local CAMHS community teams have transformed their pathways for young people and the new service will support this by offering intensive support when it is needed, reducing the length of admissions by keeping the young person close to the people and resources that will support their recovery.
Chief Executive at Humber NHS Foundation Trust Michele Moran said: “We are absolutely delighted to be afforded this opportunity to deliver a local inpatient unit for our young people and families, who have told us repeatedly how important it is to have easy access to help for those young people experiencing acute distress.”
Paul Warwick, Clinical Lead for the project added: “We have worked closely with local young people and their families to understand their needs and how they want the new unit to look and feel. The account of their experiences was very powerful and we have used their thoughts to help create a model that responds to their needs and now the work begins on making these plans a reality. It is very important to us that the voice of young people has a strong presence in any new service and we will continue to work together to ensure we get it right.”
The new unit will form a critical part of a system of support for young people across Humberside. Peter Flanagan, Care Group Director for Children and Learning Disabilities, said: “The Trust is very clear that we cannot make this happen acting alone and we have already had excellent support from operational partners including The Goodwin Trust, Mind, Smash and The Warren. In addition it has to be acknowledged that local families have provided persistent and persuasive support for this project for a number of years and that support has been invaluable.”
Charity organisation YoungMinds led the engagement activities working with NHS England to secure the views of younger people. Speaking about the experience Jane Case from YoungMinds explained: “It is really satisfying to see the feedback and expectations of young people and their carers taken into account in projects like this. Their insight and experience has helped shape plans and provides a strong foundation to continue to build a service with and participation of services users and their families at the heart of delivery.
“They have reflected on the opportunity to be involved as interesting, fascinating and really enjoyable with one young woman who has experienced inpatient services now looking forward to seeing the full outcome – when these new facilities are up and running.”