Young person’s mental health unit one step closer to opening

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust prepares to open first local child and adolescent mental health unit at Bodmin Hospital site

The new mental health unit will mean young patients no longer need to travel outside the area to receive specialist care

Cornwall’s first child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) moved a step closer to opening this week as staff were employed to work at the facility.

Nurses, outreach workers, healthcare assistants, a clinical psychologist, a family therapist and a unit manager are among 30 new recruits who joined a team of medical professionals to work within the £11m Sowenna unit, which will accommodate boys and girls up to the age of 18 at the Bodmin Hospital site.

Operated by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT), the 14-bed centre will give young people access to specialist mental health inpatient facilities nearer their homes.

The initiative delivers on NHS England’s commitment to reduce out-of-area placements for children and young people by increasing bed numbers nationally by 10%.

CFT chairman, Dr Barbara Vann, said: “Our aim is to stop families travelling thousands of miles every year to visit their children and to provide world-class facilities in Cornwall to improve recovery times.

“This huge step in employing staff who will be working within the unit brings us one step closer to treating some of our most-vulnerable people, closer to their homes, families, and friends.”

Currently the trust is fundraising to provide facilities and equipment that go above and beyond the build and the hospital beds funded by the NHS.

“These are the ‘icing on the cake’ items that will really make a difference to young people’s recovery, health and wellbeing ,such as a sports barn and gym, parental accommodation, cafe, therapeutic gardens, and equipment for music, arts and cooking,” said Dr Vann.

The unit has been designed by Ryder Architecture and is being built by Interserve.

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