BOOST for funding of hospital for young people with mental health problems.

A new Eating Disorder Day Programme is set to launch in Winchester later this year, following confirmation of £1.6m additional funding.

The new programme will be launched at Leigh House Hospital, in Alresford Road, and be the first of its kind in Hampshire to offer a high-intensity alternative to inpatient care.

This will enable specialist staff at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust to treat young people in the community and for them to stay at home with their families. 

The service, due to open towards the end of the year, will be available to young people aged 18 and under who are already known to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

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The eight-bed acute psychiatric ward will be expanded to a 10-bed ward, with new day programme premises.

Pilot funding for a new transitions team will also support young inpatients transitioning back into the community.

Once refurbished, the inpatient unit will continue to support young people with acute and severe mental disorders – such as emerging emotionally unstable personality disorder, deliberate self-harm, major mood disorders, psychoses, complex neuropsychiatric disorders, eating disorders and severe obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Meanwhile, the new day treatment programme will focus on treating eating disorders. It will be delivered six times a year for up to 10 young people at a time, supporting an additional 60 patients every year. It will involve a combination of group and individual therapy sessions and meal-time support to young people and their loved ones, as well as help for families.

The new Southern Health service is being commissioned by the NHS Wessex and Dorset CAMHS Provider Collaborative, with funding from NHS England.

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Head of Clinical Service for CAMHS at Southern Health Alison Vasey said: "We are so pleased to be able to offer this next level of support. There has been a huge increase in need for eating disorder services in recent years and this new day programme will provide one way of addressing this, while the plans also allow us to expand our bed capacity in our inpatient unit.

“A community day service means young people can get help and support for eating disorders, alongside their family, without having to go into hospital. The service will help us treat young people sooner - avoiding deterioration in a young person’s physical condition - and offers an alternative to staying overnight in hospital to receive the care they need."

The service will operate Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm, with flexibility for families to join for a meal in the evening as part of their care plan.