Norman Lamb, Minister for Care and Support Services visited the new Highfield Unit Oxford on 7 February.  Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust was pleased to host the visit where the Minister heard about the work happening across Oxfordshire to support children and young people’s mental health.

The focus of the visit was to showcase the work that has been happening with development of Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) as part of Children and Young People’s Mental Health. The Trust, in partnership with the Charlie Waller Institute at the University of Reading, is running a three year programme which provides clinical trainings in therapies for depression, anxiety and behavioural problems.

The Minister heard from staff involved in this work, as well as young people and parents who have already benefitted from these service developments. The visit was a great opportunity to show the Minister around the new Highfield Unit which opens to patients next week. It is a purpose built inpatient unit for children and young people and has been designed in partnership with young service users to ensure it meets their needs.

Norman Lamb said “The new Highfield Unit means children and young people with mental health issues in Oxford will receive support that is tailored to their needs.

“Early and effective intervention can make a real difference to children and young people with mental health issues and I was privileged to hear their stories and about the work staff at the unit have been undertaking to develop Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.”

Half of children and young people with long-term mental health problems first experience symptoms before the age of 14 and three quarters of them before their mid-twenties.  Early and effective intervention when problems first appear can make a significant difference to young people being able to achieve their own ambitions

Norman Lamb in the new music studio at the Highfield Unit Oxford

Norman Lamb in the new music studio at the Highfield Unit Oxford