New mental health service for children launched

Hospital opened in honour of caring support worker.

A new mental health service for children and young people that has been named in memory of a health care support worker, Joyce Parker, has been officially opened in Coventry by her family.

Cygnet Health Care’s newest Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Cygnet Joyce Parker Hospital, will provide much needed mental health support for children and young people from the local area and beyond.

It was opened with great pride and emotion by Mrs Parker’s husband, Darren Parker, who joined hospital staff at a special, socially distanced, ribbon cutting ceremony.
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Speaking at the event, Darren Parker, from Tividale, 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, who is 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.”

61 year-old Joyce 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.