This is how Hull's new 11-bed mental health unit for children could look

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 10 Aug 2017

This artist’s impression shows for the first time how a new multi-million pound mental health inpatient unit for children and young people in Hull could look.

Humber NHS Foundation Trust has applied for planning permission to provide the much-needed facility, which will be based at Walker Street in west Hull.

The move follows the Mail’s Kids In Crisis campaign, which saw more than 3,500 people sign a petition calling on the Government to improve the care and support offered to children with mental health problems.

The campaign, launched in January 2015, reflected the concerns of many families following the closure of the West End unit in Hessle.

The West End child adolescent & family service in Hessle Road, Hessle

Our campaign highlighted the plight of children sent hundreds of miles across the country for treatment.

Now, the new unit has taken a step closer with the application now submitted.

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Managers are seeking Hull City Council’s permission to create a ‘Children’s Campus’ by linking the 11-bed unit to the trust’s Walker Street Children’s Centre, refurbished to provide Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) community and therapy services.

They believe the inpatient facility will not only significantly reduce the number of out-of-area placements - which currently see children treated far from home - but reduce hospital admissions and lengths of stay.

Teresa Cope, chief operating officer of Humber NHS Foundation Trust

The trust’s chief operating officer, Teresa Cope, said: “The submission of the planning application is another important step forward in our ambition to provide outstanding services for children and young people from Hull, the East Riding and North and North-East Lincolnshire.

“Our exciting proposals are in line with local, regional and national NHS objectives and, most importantly of all, will meet the requirements of our young patients and their families, who have been calling for specialist facilities of this type for so long.”

The plans for the inpatient unit, designed according to its 13 to 18-year-old patients’ clinical needs, include:

  • Nine general CAMHS and two Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU) ensuite bedrooms
  • A lounge, dining area, kitchen, laundry, treatment and dispensing room, staff office and quiet room
  • Multi-purpose, activity, gaming and sensory rooms
  • An extra-care area, school, tribunal and meeting room, gym, multi-faith room, family visit room, interview room, reception area, facility management rooms, central kitchen and support office spaces
  • Courtyards providing access to safe outdoor space;
  • A new entrance shared with the Children’ Centre.

The plans, revealed last month, have been welcomed by Hessle mum, Sally Burke, who led the calls for better local provision after her teenage daughter Maisie was initially placed in a unit in Stafford.

At the time she told the Mail: “It’s a great victory for the Hull Daily Mail and a great victory for all the parents who campaigned so hard for this.

Campaigning mum Sally Burke with her daughter Maisie

“Having had some experience of units run by the private sector, I’m glad the contract has gone to our local NHS trust because with the NHS there tends to be a much more community-led involvement with a greater focus on discharge when the circumstances are right.”

The Trust has submitted its planning application just weeks after NHS England awarded it a 10-year contract to develop a CAMHS service to treat illnesses such as depression, psychoses, eating disorders, anxiety and emerging personality disorder.

If the council approves the plans, the trust will aim to complete the building work so the campus can open in July next year.

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