New facility will provide inpatient mental health services, assessment and comprehensive treatments for young people across the Thames Valley region
Work is now underway on a new eight-bed psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Warneford Hospital, Oxfordshire.
The £4mi building, supported by NHS England/Improvement funding, will enable young people experiencing the most-acutely-disturbed phase of a serious mental disorder to receive specialist help closer to home.
Set to be built alongside the award-winning Highfield Adolescent Inpatient Unit on the Warneford site in Oxford; the facility will provide inpatient mental health care, assessment, and comprehensive treatments for young people across the Thames Valley region.
It is part of a new regional model for the delivery of specialised mental healthcare for children and young people, known as the Thames Valley CAMHS Tier 4 Provider Collaborative, which is being led by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
A pioneering approach
Working alongside other care providers, it is a pioneering approach that seeks to share resources and expertise to deliver joined-up care.
Set to open in early 2022, service users will be consulted in developing the interior look and layout of the PICU ahead of the opening and a recruitment campaign will be launched to ensure the necessary specialist workforce is in place.
Debbie Richards, executive managing director of mental health, learning disabilities and autism at the trust, said: “This specialist PICU unit is essential so that young people can be cared for as close to home as possible to ensure the best-possible outcomes.
“We have seen an increase in demand and acuity during COVID. And, as the lead provider for the Thames Valley CAMHS Tier 4 Provider Collaborative, our clinicians are constantly managing regional and local pressures on beds. This additional capacity will be a most welcome and timely addition.”
PICUs provide containment of short-term behavioural disturbance which cannot be contained within a Tier 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) general inpatient setting, including within a high-dependency area.
Meeting the objectives
Behaviours of those admitted will be associated with a serious risk of either suicide, absconding with a significant threat to safety, aggression, or vulnerability.
The core objectives of the PICU will be to: