New Mental Health Unit For Children In London Opens This Month

Lavender Walk, a new inpatient unit for children with mental health difficulties, opened on Monday 12 November.

The unit, next to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in Kensington, will provide 12 inpatient beds for people aged between 13 and 18 from across North West London who are experiencing severe mental health difficulties and need to be cared for in a safe and secure environment.

The unit has classrooms to help young people to continue with their schooling, a multisensory rom, ICT room and other facilities to help young people feel comfortable during their stay.

Staff and young people, who helped design and development the unit, had a sneak preview last week.

At the viewing Maria O’Brien, Director of Community Services at CNWL, said:

“It’s a wow factor day.  This will be a fantastic unit.  We know the best place for young people is at home but there is always going to be a need for more specialised support and sometimes that includes a short hospital stay.  We’re so pleased that young people in London now have a fantastic unit to help them, when they need it, stay close to home; it takes some of their stress away.”

The unit is a joint project with West London NHS trust,  It comes from the innovative work by the North West London CAMHS New Models of Care programme.

West London’s Clinical Director Vijay Parkash said: “The new unit is really impressive to see.  I hope that young people who come here will find it welcoming and a comfortable place to stay and continue their education.  We are now really looking forward to the new facility opening in a few weeks and the first service users coming through the door.”

The unit will open next week; initially focusing on bringing young people (already in specialist care) closer to home to continue their treatment and to facilitate continuity of care with the community CAMHS services.

A short film explains more about local services for children with mental health difficulties and how to make a referral.  Watch it below:

Who can be referred to the service?

The service will accept referrals of people who meet the following criteria:

Aged between 13 and 18 years old, who are resident in the north west London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Brent Harrow, ad Hillingdon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow who may require detention under the Mental Health Act 2007 although the latter is not a pre-requisite.

Primary diagnosis of mental illness and which does not exclude young people with a mild learning disability, drug and alcohol problems or those with social care problems as secondary needs.

Severe and complex needs that cannot be safely managed within Tier 3 CAMS.

For more information about the referral process, please refer to GP fact sheet (PDF)

Visit the service page for the referral criteria and more information.