New young people’s mental health service commended in national award

A Leeds-based young people’s inpatient mental health service which opened earlier this year has been commended in a major national health award.

The Children and Young Peoples’ Mental Health Service (CYPMHS) inpatient unit for West Yorkshire based at Red Kite View in Armley, Leeds, was highly commended in the Mental Health Innovation of the Year category at this year’s Health Service Journal Awards on 17 November 2022.

Red Kite View is a 22-bed £20million purpose-built hospital unit for children and young people across West Yorkshire. It opened in January 2022 after four years of planning, building, the recruitment of over 100 new staff and the development of a service with the needs of young people at its heart.

Nik Lee, Operational Manager at Red Kite View, (pictured below) said: “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together. This award is for everyone involved – from concept to creation. From the staff who deliver amazing care day in day out to the project team who built it – we’ve created something fantastic and I’m delighted we’ve been nationally recognised.

Nik Lee, operational manager at Red Kite View

“Before Red Kite View opened we knew the needs of young people with significant mental health problems across West Yorkshire were not fully being met, and many were receiving inpatient care too far from home.

“We’ve now got a brilliant team delivering first class mental health care in a purpose-built environment. And young people across West Yorkshire who need inpatient care can now get it much closer to home.

“Our focus is now to work effectively with our young people’s community mental health teams across West Yorkshire to improve services at local level.”

Rob Webster CBE, Chief Executive Officer Lead for the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “I’m delighted that Red Kite View has once again been recognised nationally with this well-deserved award.

“Putting young people’s views at the heart of build design; a focus on compassionate care; and inpatient care as a component of a whole service that meets everyone’s needs is evident in the way the teams work.

“The addition of local employment opportunities and the power of the NHS as an anchor organisation is a credit to all involved. Importantly this award highlights the impact good capital investment can make in improving mental health care for children and young people and the experience of staff too.”

Find out more about the Children and Young Peoples’ Mental Health Service (CYPMHS) inpatient unit for West Yorkshire at Red Kite View on our website.


What is Red Kite View?

Nurses walking in front of Red Kite View

The brief to the architects was to ‘Create a safe and calming site that can also fascinate and be therapeutic for our vulnerable young people when they are going through difficult times.’


The site is almost three acres in size and the task was to create a modern building on a heavily wooded, sloping site in the middle of a residential area and on the site of a former workhouse and maternity hospital.


Young people were involved throughout the design process and nature was a constant theme. They wanted to bring the outside in and create something that felt like a second home rather than a hospital. Our local young people also helped us decide the name Red Kite View. Birds and nature now run right through the interior of the building with fabulous artwork throughout.


The unit hosts two wards; a general admission ward and a psychiatric intensive care ward – the latter being a first in West Yorkshire. It also boasts on site educational facilities where young people receive lessons from qualified teaching staff, as well as a full catering operation where all the food is cooked fresh on site every day.


Find out more about how we built Red Kite View on our website.


 What our parents and carers think

In a recent external quality review, the service received some great feedback from parents and carers, including:

“We think overall the staff are very friendly, helpful and welcoming. Some have been no less than fantastic with our child, they could not have done anything else to make the stay easier.”


“We think the school on the unit is excellent, they have a great range of subjects.”


“We know our child has a written care plan and a key worker they meet with on a regular basis, we are able to contact them if we have any questions.”


“We are happy with our child’s bedroom. They are a nice size and have a homely feel.”


The Nine Red Kite View Commitments

Before it opened, staff worked with local young people with lived experience of mental health services to develop nine Red Kite View Commitments.

They are:

  1. You will be involved in the decisions about your care, and we will always try our best to explain this clearly
  2. We will work with you, your family and community teams to make any transition between services and home easier
  3. You will have a safe space to talk to us about any thoughts, feelings or issues you are having
  4. You will be treated with respect and listened to when you need someone
  5. Your family will be involved with your care as much as you want them to be, and plans will be centred around your and your family’s needs
  6. Your care will be specific to you and if you have a learning disability or autism, we will make sure your voice is heard
  7. We will put a full therapeutic plan in place including activities, therapy and education to keep you engaged and make your stay meaningful
  8. We understand the importance of having support from your friends and peers and we will support this as much as possible
  9. We will listen to what you want, be flexible where we can and consistent with your care


These commitments can be found on the wall of Red Kite View and staff aim to live up to them every day.