Hope for young people as £8 million mental health unit opens

An £8 million mental health unit for young people has welcomed its first in-patients.

The Beacon, which is based at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital, incorporates design ideas and features suggested by some of those who will use its services.

The unit has 15 beds, an increase on the service’s previous provision of 10, meaning fewer young people will have to leave Leicestershire for specialist care.

‘Surrounded by greenery and flooded with light’, it will also offer for the first time in this area in-patient care for those who have eating disorders.

The centre is run by the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, (LPT), which said patients will be able to stay in individual bedrooms with en-suite facilities, rather than traditional dormitory-style accommodation.

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It said an “incredibly generous” donation by Leicester City Football Club had paid for an astro-turf sports pitch at the site.

The centre was co-designed by staff from the trust’s specialist child and adolescent mental health service, (CAMHS), and young people and was built on the Glenfield Hospital site to be close to other mental health facilities in the city, the trust said.

Helen Thompson, director of families, young people and children’s services at LPT said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to welcome our first in-patients to The Beacon.

“From the outset, our vision has been to ensure the voice of the young person is at the heart of the care provided here, which is why involving them in the building’s look and feel was so important.

“The Beacon’s location in Leicester, right in the centre of the East Midlands, and the fact that we are now able to offer 15 beds rather than 10, means that more young people will be able to be treated closer to home.

“The building is surrounded by greenery and flooded with light.

“It’s a wonderful environment that will really support recovery.”

The planned official opening has been postponed because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Construction was managed by Interserve Construction.

The company’s divisional director Simon Butler, said: “The Beacon has been a fantastic project for us to be a part of and we are very proud to have worked with LPT to deliver an environment that will enable provision of great mental health care for young people.”

Leicestershire Live – Leicester News