A £20 million mental health unit for people aged 13 to 18 is set to open its doors in Armley for the first time.
Red Kite View is a new mental health inpatient unit offering expert therapy and treatment to some of the most vulnerable young people across the region.
Red Kite View is a purpose-built facility, located on the St Mary’s Hospital site. It has been designed in partnership with clinicians and young people, who’ve contributed their ideas, hopes and aspirations for care at the new unit.
The 22-bed unit replaces the eight-bed unit at Little Woodhouse Hall, increasing the regional bed capacity by 14. This is part of a drive to eliminate out-of-area placements for young people who need an inpatient admission but who can’t access a bed locally.
Its two main wards will be staffed by a 100-strong team of nurses, psychiatrists, teachers, clinical psychologists, and a wide range of allied health professionals and non-clinical support staff.
Dawn Hanwell, Deputy Chief Executive at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) which runs Red Kite View, said:
“This fantastic new facility is something we in the NHS – and our children, their parents and carers – have so desperately wanted for so long. Our enhanced expert team will be providing fantastic quality care closer to home, and I sincerely hope that once it’s fully operational, it will ultimately see the end of out-of-area placements.”
Tim Richardson, Head of Operations for Children and Young People’s Service at LYPFT, said:
“Our role is to support young people experiencing significant psychiatric, psychological or emotional problems that are causing them interpersonal, educational and social functioning problems.
“We spent a lot of time listening to young people with lived experience of mental health services to influence the environment and the way we deliver care. Our young people told us they wanted Red Kite View to feel like a home from home, or even a hotel, and not like a hospital. They also told us nature was important in terms of wellbeing and recovery. So we designed it to feel just like that, trying to ‘bring the outside in’ where we could through space, natural light and some amazing artwork.”
The young people’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), known as Lapwing Ward, is a new service for the area. The six-bed ward is a low stimulus, highly structured therapeutic environment with high levels of staff to ensure that the behaviours that any young person presents with can be assessed and supported.
The General Assessment Unit (GAU), known as Skylark Ward, is a 16-bed ward providing the same high standards of care without the need for enhanced physical or security measures. Everyone staying on the wards will have their own bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms and access to social space both indoors and outside
Red Kite View also boasts its own on-site professional kitchen.
Red Kite View will initially open to five young people who will transfer from Little Woodhouse Hall on 13 January 2022.
After that the team will transfer young people who’ve been placed out of area and who might be in other settings and needing an inpatient admission. It will continue to expand its provision through to May 2022, when the intention is to be fully occupied.
The Trust has recruited new staff internationally, nationally and locally. This includes recruiting around 40 people from the Armley and Lower Wortley areas as part of a drive to reduce unemployment in these areas.
Read more about that and about Hungarian-born Dorisz Fuko who’s taken a job at Red Kite View as an assistant support worker here.
To find out more about Red Kite View and the project that built it, visit its website.