West Yorkshire’s new young peoples’ mental health unit ends year on a high

As 2020 draws to a close, the project board for West Yorkshire’s new child and adolescent mental health unit (artist's impression below) have agreed its name.

CAMHS unit artist impression

Following consultation with a range of young people including residents at York’s Mill Lodge and Leeds’ Little Woodhouse Hall, and with Leeds Community Health Trust Youth Board members, the theme of nature emerged as a something positive and favoured by many. So we can finally reveal that the name of the unit will be . . . Red Kite View.

The Kite is a bird that is well-established in West Yorkshire, and it can also be something fun that you fly in the sky. The name lends itself well to further naming of the two wards at the unit, as well as a theme for the internal artwork, so Board members felt this name would appeal to young people across different ages. Colleagues will be working with our young people in 2021 on helping us to develop the ward names and artwork.

Looking back at our progress and sharing the latest view from the skies

At the end of every year we look back and reflect on the past 12 months. We consider the challenges we have faced and overcome and we recognise the achievements we have made.

This year has been one like no other as the COVID-pandemic has redefined ways of life across the UK and around the world. 2020 has been a difficult year to navigate; it has been challenging for so many of us, our colleagues, and our service users as we attempted to adapt to rapid change and new ways of living of working.

One of the positive changes to come out of this year has been the progress on our new CAMHS Unit. This time last year in December 2019, the new CAMHS unit became a reality after we received planning permission from Leeds City Council.

Since then, and despite the pandemic, the construction of the new unit has progressed to schedule. From the steel signing event in July where West Leeds MP Rachel Reeves added a message of support to the steel frame of the building, to the recent news that the unit is on track for an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating in sustainability.

In November we made another application to Leeds City Council to modify the layout of the new unit. These modifications will allow for enhanced infection prevention controls and social distancing within the building and is based on our learning from the impact of Covid-19.

And as the year draws to a close, check out the latest aerial footage of the new unit in this short video:

You can also chart its development over the last 12 months in pictures and videos.

Dawn Hanwell, Chief Financial Officer and lead for the CAMHS unit project, said: “While this year has been tough on so many of us, it is great to see the continued progress on the construction of this new unit. This will provide a fantastic facility for children and young people experiencing mental health problems across West Yorkshire.

“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. This is especially relevant now given the increased strain and unprecedented circumstances children and young people have had to face because of Covid-19.

“I’m looking forward to the completion of the unit towards the end of 2021 – our goal is for the young people to be settled in and celebrating Christmas there next year.”

Red Kite View will replace the current in-patient CAMHS base in the Grade II listed Little Woodhouse Hall in Leeds. It is a joint venture between Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT), and LYPFT will take on the leadership of this unit from April 2021.

Dawn added: “We would like to thank everyone involved in this development, especially the local community and their representatives in being so supportive. We hope that you all have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”