A new ward for children and adolescents with mental health issues has opened at Priory’s world-famous Roehampton Hospital in south-west London.
The ward, which follows an investment of nearly £1m and creates 20 new local jobs, will help address the shortage of mental health treatment options for a group which struggles most: teenagers.
Roehampton Hospital as a whole has undergone a £6m refurbishment since 2018 and is rated as ‘good’ throughout by the Care Quality Commission.
The adolescent mental health epidemic is escalating – amid concern that social media, education pressures and family breakdown are fuelling a growing mental health crisis among younger generations – and the NHS’s emergency departments are inundated with young patients experiencing mental health crises.
Parents struggle to find treatment, and families looking for intensive therapy and round-the-clock care often worry because they can’t find the right treatment.
The new ward is a much-needed resource for young people, a safe environment where the team aims to build a rapport with each young person and to support them through treatment and recovery. It will treat a range of conditions including depression, anxiety, self-harming, school phobia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, among other conditions.
Dr Hamilton McBrien, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Medical Director for Specialist NHS services at Roehampton, said: “The ward is going to make a significant difference to people’s experience of treatment at a time when they are feeling most vulnerable. Over half of all mental health disorders start before the age of 14. Accessing treatment and care early can significantly help a person’s recovery. Our team are proud to be involved in the opening of a new ward for private patients, allowing more young people fast access to appropriate mental health treatment, care and support.”
A specially developed programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team and headed by experienced consultants, offering 24-hour medical and nursing care. Young people accessing the service will have their admission funded by their families, or through their private medical insurance.
The ward’s programme offers a full 7-day timetable which can include school, stress management, dialectical and cognitive behavioural therapy, coping skills development, as well as family therapy.
Young people will follow the curriculum of their home school. This helps them keep connected to their peers and teachers and not feel like they are being ‘left behind’ in their schooling. Priory’s school is OFSTED accredited, with teachers liaising closely with young people’s home school, and with parents.