Darwin Centre

For Young People

The staff at the Darwin Centre are dedicated to making sure you receive the best care possible. You will also meet other young people sharing similar experiences to you, which can be helpful and reassuring. You will be supported by fully qualified and experienced staff.

When a young person is first admitted to the Darwin, they will be welcomed by an admitting nurse and a doctor, who will carry out the admission paperwork, a physical examination and go through your medical history. We understand that being admitted to hospital can seem quite scary so we offer lots of support to help young people feel at home. Parents/carers are welcome to help young people settle in and they will have lots of opportunities to visit.

If a young person is an informal patient, it means they have agreed to the admission or if they are under 16, their parent/carer has agreed to the admission. If a young person is a formal patient, then they have been detained on a section of the Mental Health Act (1983). A member of staff will explain their rights.

There is usually an initial assessment period, during which staff aim to a young person and their family, introduce them to the ward programme and clarify how the admission can be most helpful. Young people are allocated a Care Team comprising nurses and healthcare assistants who will be their main key-workers throughout their admission. The young person will see their key workers regularly and may be seen by other members of the multi-disciplinary team depending on their needs.

Involvement in our therapeutic programme is an essential part of the assessment and treatment for young people. This comprises of school, groups and activities. A variety of therapeutic groups (eg, sensory group, have your say and out and about) provide opportunities for social interaction, discussion, creativity, and learning new skills and are offered to all young people on the unit (subject to a risk assessment).

Alongside groups and school, each young person has an individually tailored timetable which varies according to each young person’s needs but typically could include: 

  • Weekly appointments with the consultant
  • Psychiatrist
  • Meetings with care team
  • One-to-one therapy sessions with our Psychologist
  • One-to-one sessions with our Occupational therapist
  • Medication
  • Family therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Social work
  • Home leave (supported by the Darwin Centre)
  • Therapeutic trips of the unit
  • Review meetings (eg, ward round, CPAs, CETR)

We understand that young people struggling with a severe mental illness cope better living in a family environment wherever possible, and so we work hard to ensure the 'staying in hospital' part of your recovery  is as short and as effective as possible.

Please take a look at the information provided in this section of the website, especially the Patient Welcome Pack which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. 


We are not responsible for the contents or reliability of the linked web sites and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Listing should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Links to other useful websites

Health promotion websites

Further information

Darwin Centre welcome pack for patients June 2021.pdf [pdf] 4MB

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