Outstanding Wave Multi Academy Trust to provide education services for new adolescent mental health unit.

25th January 2019

Cornwall Council has commissioned Cornwall’s Wave Multi Academy Trust to provide education services for children and young people while they are receiving specialist treatment at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s new child and adolescent mental health unit ‘Sowenna’. Sowenna is currently being built on the Bodmin Hospital site. The new 14 bed unit will provide specialist mental health services for young people up to the age of 18 when it opens in the summer enabling them to be treated closer to their family and friends.

The new facility includes an education block to enable young people to continue with their education while they are staying in the unit. Announcing that Wave MAT had been commissioned to deliver education services, Dr Barbara Vann, Chair of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which is leading the CAMHS project, said “I am delighted that education of great quality will be offered by the Wave Multi AcademyTrust.”

Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Children Schools and Families said: “This facility is going to be life changing for children and families in Cornwall who have, for so long, been forced to travel to other parts of the country for the care they need. I am delighted the Wave Multi Academy Trust has been chosen as the education provider because they have a clear track record of delivering outstanding education in a health environment to support the children at Sowenna.”

Wave MAT currently runs the Community and Hospital Education Service (CHES) at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske, as well as six other Alternative Provision academies across Cornwall and three in Devon. CEO Rob Gasson is delighted the MAT has been commissioned to deliver the education for the new CAMHS unit. “Our well established and strong relationships with schools and the health service in Cornwall means that we are extremely well placed to ensure that the education of the young people using this facility can continue throughout their treatment” he said. “Our current CHES service has been judged as “outstanding” by Ofsted and we are looking forward to being able to provide the same high quality services for young people at Sowenna. We are very proud of the quality of education we are providing for young people and this will enable us to ensure that there is a joined up approach to the education of young people in Cornwall who require this form of medical intervention.”

Research shows that an estimated 1 in 10 young people aged between 5 and 16 experience mental health difficulties. While most can be treated and supported within the community, some require a more intensive programme of treatment and care. For children and young people in the South West with severe mental issues this has meant travelling hundreds of miles away from their family and friends to hospitals in Birmingham, Essex, Kent and Cheshire to access specialist psychiatric treatment. The opening of the new unit will mean that young people from Cornwall can be treated closer to home, enabling them to maintain their relationships and friendships.