9th Dec, 2021

New mental health service for children and young people opened in Coventry in memory of 'caring and compassionate' Joyce Parker

A NEW mental health service for children has been officially opened in Coventry in memory of health care support worker Joyce Parker.

Her family helped launch the Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital which, will provide much needed mental health support for children and young people from the local area and beyond.

The opening of Cygnet Health Care’s newest Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) was a proud and emotional moment for Mrs Parker’s husband Darren, who joined hospital staff at a special, socially distanced, ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Speaking at the event, Darren said: “Joyce worked all her life mostly as a support worker and got on with everybody, she was brilliant at her job.

“When Cygnet asked me if they could name the hospital after her I beamed, cried and accepted.

“She loved all her children and grandchildren and we miss her terribly but we would like to thank Cygnet for this amazing recognition.”

Mr Parker was joined at the ceremony by other family members who also listened to Joyce’s colleague and friend Pauline Blair-Manuel sing Amazing Grace in tribute.

Speaking after her performance Pauline, the receptionist at Cygnet Heathers in West Bromwich, said: “I was honoured to be invited to sing at the official opening and wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to join Joyce’s family, friends and colleagues to remember her.

“Joyce knew I was a gospel singer and had always wanted to hear me sing so I chose a song that I love and I could picture her face as I performed.

“It was a very moving occasion and I was so proud to be part of it.”

Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital will offer support to young people aged between 12 and 18 with mental health issues.

Specialist health care teams will work in psychiatric intensive care and low secure environments with the aim of helping young people stabilise their condition and return home as soon as possible.

Mental health problems affect about one in ten children and young people, and include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder.

Nick Ruffley, Managing Director for Cygnet Health Care (North) said: “We have been looking forward to the opening of Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital which will bring much-needed CAMHS beds to the area.

“This is also about celebrating Joyce Parker, who was part of the team at Meadows Mews, our residential neuropsychiatric service.

“She is a great loss to Cygnet, colleagues and the residents that she cared for and supported.

“She showed care and compassion in everything that she did and she would often mentor staff, particularly the younger ones. I’m pleased and proud that we can continue her legacy naming this hospital after her.”

Joyce, 61, died earlier this year and was a mother of five and a grandmother.

She worked at Cygnet Meadow Mews, a community residential service for men with neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative conditions in Tipton, West Midlands.

The service provision at Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital – Mermaid Ward – provides a ten-bed CAMHS psychiatric intensive care service with a two-bed emergency place of safety suite for young people experiencing severe mental illness.

Young people will be able to continue their education through an on-site Ofsted registered Summit School.

Another ward, Dragon Ward, which opens in early 2021, will provide a low secure service for young people who may need a longer stay. It offers a care and treatment pathway for individuals who may have complex mental health issues and whose needs and risk are such they need to be supported in this environment.

Dragon Ward will also be able to treat young people with co-morbid disordered eating as part of their illness, and specialist eating disorder clinicians will collaborate with other healthcare teams to support effective treatment and recovery of the young people.

Service users will also be able to stay at Centaur Court, five individual flatlet pods to help people that are stepping down from a hospital setting and are ready to trial independent living. The apartments will also allow Cygnet to provide bespoke packages of care for people who struggle within a busy ward environment.

In addition, the hospital will offer a bookable accommodation suite providing overnight accommodations for families and carers who may be travelling a long distance to visit their loved ones.

The aim is to allow them to be closer and provide support and get involved in their care.

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