Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating the start of Learning Disability Week with the opening of the first unit in London for young people with a learning disability.
It said the unit meant more children in the capital, aged 13 to 18, who have a learning disability and also mental health issues or challenging behaviours, can receive care and treatment closer to home.
“This means more children can receive care and treatment in London”
The new unit offers five specialist beds, housed at the Kingswood Centre in Brent, alongside the trust’s adult inpatient unit, which is currently rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.
The trust highlighted that its Kingswood staff had “years of experience working with people with learning disabilities and mental health needs”.
It noted that team included nurses, support workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, a speech and language therapist, and a teacher and teaching assistant.
In addition, the trust said 40 new staff would be recruited to fill additional roles.
Meanwhile, it said parents and carers have been involved with the development of the unit, including the name – Crystal House.
The development forms part of the New Model of Care programme, which is funded by government arms’-length body NHS England.
“This unit is going to be of the highest standards for the care of their loved ones”
Jo Carroll, the trust’s head of learning disabilities, said: “We’re excited to be given this opportunity by NHS England, to be the first London-based Children’s inpatient service.
“This will make a real difference to young people locally who may need more intensive support,” said Ms Carroll.
“Sometimes a short hospital admission with specialised care and treatment is what they really need and the closer they are to home to have family nearby, the better,” she said. “This means more children can receive care and treatment in London.”
Trust chief executive Claire Murdoch added: “I am so proud of this new unit – and I want to thank the families involved in its design; very helpful but also as they can see that this unit is going to be of the highest standards for the care of their loved ones.”
Learning Disability Week 2019 runs from 17 to 23 June. This year, the awareness week also coincides with the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of learning disability nursing.