New child and adolescent mental health unit announced for Cornwall

A new child and adolescent mental health unit will be built in Cornwall following an announcement made by NHS England today (March 31, 2017).

Two-and-a-half years on from the publication of the NHS Five Year Forward View (and its update today), this news will mean that for the first time, children and young people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will have access to specialist mental health beds in county.

This 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%.

The new 12 bed unit will accommodate young people up to the age of 18.

Phil Confue, Chief Executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said, “Today’s announcement is fantastic news for children and families locally.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been given the go ahead for this unit which will provide a much needed service to some of our most vulnerable young people.

“Previously children from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly had to travel out of county for this kind of service but this new unit will enable us to deliver care much closer to home.

“The ability to regularly see family and friends while in hospital is a key element in people’s recovery, and especially in the case of children.”

The Trust will build the new unit on land adjacent to Bodmin Hospital where it will benefit from close links to the Trust’s other specialist mental and physical health services. It is hoped that building work will begin in Spring 2018.

In determining the location of the new facility, the Trust’s existing services and accessibility have been taken into consideration.

In response to the announcement, communications officer at Healthwatch Cornwall Josie Purcell said: “This is encouraging news – we have continued to hear from people about their concerns regarding out-of-county mental health support placements for young people and this will hopefully enable families in Cornwall find the vital support they need near to home.”