Strensall, York

New life for Strensall Mental Health Facility

A former inpatient adult mental health facility in Strensall, near York, is to be given a new lease of life by The Retreat, York.

The Charles Court site, off Northfields, has been empty since the end of 2017 when The Retreat relocated the service to its Heslington Road building in York.

Now, following a major organisational review and the launch of an ambitious new clinical strategy, Charles Court is to be fully modernised, subject to planning approval, in order to create a state-of-the-art home for The Retreat’s renowned Children and Young People’s Autism Assessment and Diagnostic Service, with a view to developing a wider range of mental health services for children and young people in the near future.

Dr Kim Bevan, Chief Officer – Clinical Services, explained: “As an organisation we’ve undergone significant change in recent years in response to the changing mental health landscape. “We know that one in ten children aged 5-16 have diagnoses such as conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression, so it’s important that we can contribute to addressing this need.

“Charles Court in Strensall provides us with an opportunity to create a purpose-built  neurodevelopmental and mental health facility for families, children and young people. Crucially, it will also give us the flexibility to look at the future provision of additional psychological therapy services that we know children and families in our community need.”

The Retreat’s plans involve a refresh of the buildings and grounds. Inside, a major refurbishment programme will create a new reception and a range of specialist areas such as training rooms, therapy areas and high-tech sensory spaces.

Contractors are expected to begin working on site in the coming months with the refurbishment being completed in summer of 2020. Existing children and young people’s Autism services, currently based in Heslington would be transferred afterwards.