The Reuben Foundation has made a multimillion-pound gift to build a new, state-of-the-art Young People’s Centre at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The ground-breaking gift comes as Chelsea and Westminster and its charity CW+ are working with partners from across London to establish the NHS Best For You programme to help address the rapidly increasing number of young people experiencing deteriorating mental health and their families.
The Reuben Young People’s Centre will be a cornerstone of the Best For You programme, designed to help provide immediate, specialist and integrated care to young people in mental health crisis in a way that best meets the needs of the individual and their family.
The Centre will be the largest of its kind in London combining, for the first time, mental and physical care in one dedicated environment for adolescents. The new unit will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team of paediatricians, specialist nurses, psychologists, therapists, trained volunteers, counsellors, and youth workers to assess, transfer and treat young people requiring help quickly and seamlessly. Currently, the treatment of a young person in mental health crisis draws a line between physical and mental health assessment.
Building on Chelsea and Westminster’s position as a national leader in both digital innovation and clinical estate design, the Centre will be a holistic but digitally enhanced environment, designed in collaboration with clinicians, academics, young people and their families to help create the optimum environment for recovery and incorporating the latest in digital sensor technologies and enhancements.
The new Reuben Young People’s Centre will dovetail with the Best For You day service and community programme to provide continuity of care and mitigate against the current challenge of young people being repeatedly admitted to hospital. The day service will provide outpatient clinical care, therapies, and family support for as long as is required to support long-term recovery and ongoing well-being.
The Best For You programme launched in November 2021, in response to the huge increase in numbers of young people experiencing declining mental health and mental health crisis. The unique programme is spearheaded by three NHS Trusts in the North West London Integrated Care System – Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and West London NHS Trust – and the charity CW+, who have brought together a coalition of community, tech and voluntary sector organisations to establish this new model of mental health care for young people and their families.
Lesley Watts, Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, says: ‘I would like to thank the Reuben Foundation for their generosity, which will transform how care is provided to young people requiring physical and mental health support.
‘At Chelsea and Westminster, we strive to put the patient at the heart of everything we do. The new Reuben Young People’s Centre will enable us to provide the very best care for young people from across our region. Importantly, it will also help inform a new national standard of care for young people in an acute hospital setting and allow us to play a central role in addressing the growing national crisis in young people’s mental health and well-being.’
Chris Chaney, Chief Executive of CW+, explains: ‘We are incredibly grateful to the Reuben Foundation for their generous gift to help create this state-of-the-art and urgently needed new centre. This vital new facility and the Best For You programme are desperately needed and will have a huge impact helping young people and their families access the best care and support possible.
‘Tackling the complex and multifaceted crisis we are seeing in the mental well-being of our young people requires a diverse and committed range of partners and we are thrilled that the Reuben Family have once again chosen to support us in trying to make a significant and tangible difference to the lives of children, young people and families in our community. ‘
Lisa Reuben, Trustee of the Reuben Foundation, added: ‘We are delighted to continue our relationship and support Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and CW+ through this gift to create the Reuben Young People’s Centre. The Reuben Foundation is passionate about supporting young people’s health and wellbeing and we are confident this new centre will help touch the lives of many hundreds of young people and their families at a time when they need it most.
‘The impact of the pandemic on children and young people has been profound and as a family we were determined to play our part in ensuring this group receives the care and support they need to begin the process of recovery and readjustment. We believe the Reuben Young People’s Centre has an important role to play in this process and we hope this approach will also act as a template that other communities and NHS organisations will benefit from.’