12 July 2021

The Trust has been successful in being awarded a bid to create an interim acute mental health inpatient unit for children and young people in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. 

This will provide a dedicated centre in the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes for the first time – keeping children and young people close to their loved ones.

The centre will provide specialist, short-term care for children and young people with severe or complex mental health difficulties. 

The £17m funding is for an initial three years and Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes Integrated Care System will work with NHS England and partners in the East of England to develop a CAMHS unit in the proposed new build the trust is developing in Bedford.

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) is the project lead.  

ELFT will work in partnership with Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL), which provides mental health services in Milton Keynes, and with Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups (BLMK CCGs).  

Work is underway to identify a suitable location for the new centre and recruit a staffing team to operate it. Any opening date would be set only after estates and recruitment work, which remain in the early stages, are finalised.  

A vital part of the delivery programme will also be the involvement of service users and partners in planning a unit that meets the needs of the people, communities and healthcare systems where we provide care.  

Other funding  

Additional funding of £700k over the next three years has also been provided for NHS mental health services across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes to support children and young people with eating disorders.  

The funding will be used to enhance core services and day care provision.  

ICS partners have also been successful, as part of the national roll out of Mental Health Support Teams for Schools (MHSTs), in securing an additional seven teams for BLMK.  

Each MHST works with a pupil population size of 8,000 children and young people  

providing early intervention and supporting development of a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing. The seven teams will be deployed across the four local authorities over the next three years in areas of deprivation where poor mental wellbeing is impacting on children being able to learn and achieve. The additional teams will bring the total number of MHSTs across BLMK to 11.

Service users and carers are invited to join workshops to discuss and shape plans for CAMHS inpatient and community care in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

Sessions are being held on July 15, 2021.

Download the flyer for more information here.