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Modernisation Programme: Latest News — articles for June 2021

Breaking ground event big step in transforming children’s mental health

A world-leading centre providing mental health services for children and young people in London moved a step closer today with a virtual breaking ground event. Developed by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and the Maudsley Charity, the Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People is due to open in Denmark Hill in 2023.

Around half of adult mental health conditions begin by the time a child reaches 14, rising to 75 per cent by the age of 24. Young people with conduct disorders are twice as likely to leave school without any qualifications, four times more likely to become dependent on drugs and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

Current service users and their families, as well as researchers and clinicians, have been involved in designing the building. They particularly emphasised the need for some connection with nature in the new building, voicing a desire to be able to see and feel part of nearby green space. The design therefore incorporates landscaped outdoor terraces with extensive planting on each of the building’s eight floors.

The Centre has also received significant support from charitable foundations including the Pears Foundation, the Rayne Foundation and from individual donors. Sir Trevor Pears, Executive Chair of The Pears Foundation and lead funder of the Centre, joined service users and clinicians by video to reflect on their hopes and aspirations for the facility and the work that will be done there.

Trust Chair Sir Norman Lamb said:

“This unique building will bring together a special partnership of the clinical excellence of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and ground-breaking research from King’s College London – which has the leading child and adolescent mental health research team in Europe.

“The centre will support our local south London community which has some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, together with national services that are available to everyone in England, and expand the impact of our international reach.”

David Bradley, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:

“After so many years of hard work, by so many people it is inspiring to see the building beginning to emerge from the ground. This project is rooted in partnership and collaboration and our collective commitment to improving the lives of children and young people has never been more important. Together we have the chance to achieve something life changing here and to improve the quality of life for generations to come."

Rebecca Gray, Chief Executive Officer of the Maudsley Charity, which has contributed £10m to the project, said:

“Today’s virtual ground-breaking event is a significant milestone in the development of The Pears Maudsley Centre and demonstrates the strength of our partnership. With support from philanthropists and the public we can improve mental health outcomes for an entire generation – and for generations to come. Our commitment is that we can ‘Change The Story’ on children’s mental health and the centre is the physical embodiment of that vision.”

Professor Shitij Kapur, President and Principal of King’s College London, said:

“There is no other Centre like this in the world. Bringing together King’s leadership in mental health research with clinical excellence, will enable us to find solutions together and transform the landscape for children’s mental health. This will benefit our communities locally, national and globally, sharing best practice across the world to influence global policy and mental health outcomes.

“King’s College London and the Maudsley Hospital have played a leading role in responding to the pandemic with medical innovations that will bring lasting benefits to patients. It is this spirit of innovation and inventiveness that will drive the culture at the Pears Maudsley Centre.”

Today’s event, which included a short video of service users and senior NHS figures digging at the site, also comes as clinicians at SLaM and researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, contribute resources to BBC Bitesize’s Parents We Got You campaign. Dr Bruce Clark and Dr Amita Jassi look at obsessive compulsive behaviours in children, teaching parents to recognise the difference between normal childhood worries and more excessive and troubling behaviour.

Read Breaking ground event big step in transforming children’s mental health…

New children’s mental health centre highly commended in major design award

London’s world-leading mental health centre for children and young people has been highly commended in a major European architectural award.

The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People is set to open in Denmark Hill in 2023. It will bring together leading clinicians and researchers working in child and adolescent mental health with the aim of transforming child mental health.

Architect Graham Harris and his team at IBI Group were highly commended in the future healthcare design category at the European Healthcare Awards today for their work on the centre.

The building will house modern inpatient, outpatient and crisis mental health care facilities for children and young people, as well as state of the art clinical research facilities. It will bring together clinicians from the UK’s largest NHS provider of specialist child and adolescent mental health services to work with the largest group of mental health scientists and clinical academics in Europe.

Clinicians from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and researchers from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) will work alongside each other to develop new ways of addressing the mental health and wellbeing challenges facing children and young people today.

Dr Bruce Clark, SLaM’s clinical director for child and adolescent mental health services, welcomed the recognition of the quality of the centre’s design. He said:

“We are confident that the centre will provide world-leading clinical care and host exceptional research around the mental health of our children and young people. However, with our Trust serving four diverse south London boroughs, with significant levels of deprivation, we are determined that the centre will not just build on our international reputation for CAMHS innovation and treatment. The centre’s work will drive positive changes in the mental health problems affecting our communities – including those we serve most closely.

“It is gratifying to know this work will take place in an environment which will support us in that endeavour and we congratulate Graham and his colleagues.”

Professor Emily Simonoff, Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s College London, said:

“The opportunities to accelerate research progress and clinical translation afforded by the co-location of researchers and clinicians in the Centre is enormous. The children, young people and families attending our services are keen to participate in research that will improve outcomes and the facilities in the new Centre will allow us to increase the volume of cutting-edge research. By developing research projects with our clinical colleagues and the children and young people we see in our services, we are confident we will be addressing the scientific questions most likely to produce meaningful benefits for children and young people.”

Rebecca Gray, chief executive of the Maudsley Charity, said:

“One in eight children or young people in the UK has a clinically diagnosable mental health disorder and half of adult mental health problems begin by the age of 15. Without early diagnosis and intervention, those problems can have a life-long impact on a young person’s life prospects by affecting their education, employment and relationships.

“We are delighted with this recognition for the building that, together with our generous donors, we have helped to fund. With our breaking ground ceremony taking place shortly this recognition provides a boost to everyone committed the mental wellbeing of our children and young people and early and effective treatment.”

Mr Harris and his colleagues talked with current service users and parents and carers while designing the building to ensure they influenced the design of the new centre. That input and IBI’s own approach ensured that access to nature was built into the design.

Mr Harris said:

“We are thrilled that our exemplary design for the Pears Maudsley Centre has been so comprehensively recognized. Thanks to highly committed partnership-working between the Trust, the Maudsley Charity, King’s College London and their expert design team, the Pears Maudsley Centre will make a major contribution to the treatment and recovery of young people suffering with mental health issues.  Every stakeholder involved in this complex project deserves a major round of applause.”

The building will have landscaped outdoor terraces with extensive planting on each of the building’s eight floors – capped by a roof terrace. It is hoped this will provide the calming, relaxing spaces difficult to achieve in a traditional inner-city hospital building.

Read New children’s mental health centre highly commended in major design award…
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