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The Darwin Centre for Young People is a specialist adolescent inpatient unit for the assessment and treatment of young people aged from 13 to 18  who are suffering from serious mental health illness.

How this service can help you

The Darwin Centre works in partnership with young people, their families and other external children's agencies to help them manage their illness in a way that will enable them to return to their home and community at the earliest and safest opportunity.

You can visit the Darwin website here for more detailed information.

Young people are offered a comprehensive range of treatments and interventions for severe mental health difficulties including:

  • Nursing
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology (a range of therapeutic interventions drawing on evidence-based models including CBT, DBT and mindfulness, systemic and psychodynamic theory)
  • Parenting and family support
  • Family therapy
  • Medication
  • Art therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Planned leave (supported by the Darwin team)
  • Outreach support


Facilities available

The Darwin Centre has a friendly and homely environment, situated on the Ida Darwin Hospital at Fulbourn, a village about five miles south of Cambridge city centre in peaceful and pleasant surroundings.

We have 14 places in our residential unit . Our outreach nurses can help young people keep strong links with their home life and support them to make a successful and supported return to their local community. We also benefit from having a large and well-resourced Learning Centre on site.

We are open seven days a week throughout the year.

Visiting times for families and friends are Monday to Friday, 6.30pm–8.30pm, and weekends 12noon to 8.30pm. We will do our best to support visiting requests outside these times.

There is free car parking on the Ida Darwin site. We can refund transport costs for families who receive Family Income Support or Working Families Tax Credit. Interpreters are available if needed.

Young people at all of our inpatient units are taught by the staff of the Pilgrim PRU which was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.
Find out more about the rating here, and more about the school here.

How do I access this service?

Referrals should be made by a senior clinician in community child and adolescent mental health services.

We do not accept referrals from GPs, or self-referrals.

Vacancies at The Darwin Centre for Young People

You can view any job vacancies at The Darwin Centre and CPFT from the national NHS jobs website here.

Where is it?

The Darwin Centre for Young People, Ida Darwin, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5EE.


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Contact the service

  • T 01223 534430 (Reception is staffed from 8.30am- 4.30pm - at other times calls transferred to nurses' office)
  • Fax: 01223 885851 (secure)
  • Website:
  • Please see below for detailed information on how to refer to the service.

Who provides this service?

The Darwin Centre is provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s Specialist Services Directorate and is part of the Tier 4 acute care child and adolescent mental health pathway.

The multi-disciplinary team consists of highly specialised staff including consultant psychiatrists, nurses, health care assistants, an occupational therapist, clinical psychologists, family and art therapists, outreach workers, a dietitian, a social worker, teachers and the administrative and housekeeping teams.

Who is this service for?

The Darwin Centre accepts referrals for young people aged from 13-18  who are suffering from  mental health illness that cannot be managed by CAMH community services such as:

  • complex developmental or psychiatric disorders
  • a severe psychiatric disturbance, severe emotional and/or mental difficulties
  • a risk of suicide or serious deliberate self harm or harm to others

The Darwin Centre is not for young people who are undergoing a psychological crisis which would be more appropriately managed in a social care setting or within core CAMH emergency on call services.


The page was last updated on 06 December 2017 by kbuggy.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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