“We’re doing this for the kids”

With 20 weeks to go until we open the doors, our Deputy Chief Executive Dawn Hanwell blogs about Red Kite View and the new West Yorkshire Children and Young People's Inpatient Mental Health Service.

Dawn HanwellThings are starting to get really exciting as we now have a little under 20 weeks to go until the Red Kite View handover in November.

We’ve come so far since planning was approved for the new unit in December 2019. The site is now completely unrecognisable as the area has evolved. Progress on the build is going well and it’s incredible to see the images from the architect’s impressions being brought to life.

For this work to happen we’ve removed 17 trees from the St Mary’s Hospital site and reduced our car parking facilities. However for every felled tree we’ll be planting three trees on the new site. The finished build will also include over 40 parking bays for staff and visitors, with charging points for electric vehicles.

This, along with other sustainability measures, means that we are still on track to receive an excellent rating on the ‘BREEAM’ scale. We remain committed to sustainable development, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, and we know that protecting and maintaining the world around us matters to the young people of West Yorkshire who this unit is being built for.

The facility itself will provide a spacious modern facility for young people with significant mental health needs from across West Yorkshire who need an inpatient stay as part of their recovery. The two main wards, Skylark and Lapwing, will offer light, modern facilities including spacious, comfortable and private en-suite bedrooms and will be staffed by a dedicated multi-disciplinary team who will work closely with the young person’s community mental health team during their stay.

There will also be a range of spacious and therapeutic areas, including a multi-purpose activity room, educational facilities, a family visiting room, courtyards and a green communal space for service users and staff.

Tim Richardson, our Head of Operations for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, gave a brief update presentation on Red Kite View and the benefits it will bring to the region. You can watch Tim’s presentation on our YouTube channel.

This unit will help us to reduce the number of children and young people in West Yorkshire and Harrogate who have to leave their local area to receive the care they need. It will be truly transformational in so many ways. My mantra for this project is that we’re doing this for the kids, and my ambition is to see those young people who’ll benefit from this fabulous new facility using it before Christmas 2021.

Dawn’s blog features in the June 2021 Red Kite View newsletter.