Darwin Centre


The Darwin Centre for Young People is a Tier 4 adolescent inpatient unit based in Cambridge. The unit offers assessment and treatment to young people, aged 13-17 (until 18th birthday), experiencing psychiatric, emotional or psychological problems that interfere with their social, interpersonal and educational functioning. The Darwin Centre is a spacious, single storey 14-bed unit, situated about five miles south of Cambridge City centre in peaceful and pleasant surroundings.

During a stay here, a full range of assessment and treatments are offered by our multi-disciplinary team. We are staffed by nurses with the support of a bigger team of a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, an occupational therapist, a family therapist, teachers, healthcare assistants, a music and art therapist, a research assistant, a patient and parent involvement worker, activity co-ordinators, a dietitian and secretarial support staff. The length of stay and type of admission depends on the young person’s individual needs and circumstances; most young people stay for around 8-10 weeks, but we can offer longer or shorter treatment if appropriate.

Most patients come to the unit as informal residential patients. However, we also have admissions of young people who are detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) or subject to other court orders.

We work in partnership with young people, their families, and local professionals to achieve the best outcomes. We aim to work in partnership with young people, their families/carers and local services to help them return home as soon as they are able. It is important therefore that young people have a home as we work towards supported home leave very quickly, often within the first two weeks of admission.

Please take a look at the virtual tour of the unit, created by young people. Our You Tube virtual tour video is available on this link: https://youtu.be/EIeq8gesdp8

Further information
Darwin Centre Annual Report 2022-23.pdf [pdf] 761KB

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust