Priory Clinic bringing mental health services for Suffolk’s most troubled youngsters

The Priory may help with treating youngsters with mental health problems. Picture posed by models.

The Priory may help with treating youngsters with mental health problems. Picture posed by models. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Suffolk County Council is working with the world-famous Priory Group to develop a new centre to allow young people with the most serious mental health problems to be treated nearer home.

At present youngsters with the most severe, or “Tier Four”, mental health problems usually have to be sent to specialist centres outside Suffolk.

Last week’s full meeting of the county council saw administration members backing an opposition motion calling for more government support to allow better facilities to be developed nearer young people’s homes.

Now the council has confirmed that it is working with NHS organisations in the county and the Priory Group to develop new residential provision in Suffolk to support children who have complex or severe mental health needs.

They proposed the service to the Department for Education who awarded us £1.3m from the Innovation Fund.

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Cabinet member of children’s services Gordon Jones said: “Acute mental health needs are a national problem and something that we are committed to working together on to improve the lives of young people.

“That is why we felt able to support the amended motion at Full Council last week.

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“The need for new residential support to meets the needs children in care and those at risk of going into care is one we are already well aware of.

“As a result we have been working with The Priory to develop new tailored provision to reduce the need for these vulnerable young people to be supported outside of Suffolk. We expect the new provision to be available from the autumn.”

At present there is a Priory Hospital at Chelmsford and a Priory Wellbeing centre in Norwich, although there is nothing run by the group in Suffolk.

Sarah Adams, Labour spokeswoman for health proposed the council motion and said: “It is vitally important that pressure is put onto those organisations that procure beds for Tier Four provision.

“This motion was brought to full council because young people in crisis are still not getting the care they need.

“We are delighted that the Conservative administration has supported to motion, but now we will be holding them to account. Words are easy in the debating chamber, action is much harder. Only time will tell if they truly support this motion.”

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