Alder Hey Hospital Community Cluster and Sunflower House

Client Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Sector Health

Location North West

Value £15.6m

We created a new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) space for Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, supporting the client’s vision to create Europe’s first dedicated children’s healthcare campus in a park.

The Community Cluster is an outpatient facility that co-locates services previously spread across the campus, providing a joined-up approach to children’s mental health. The adjacent Sunflower House is a 12-bed residential unit built to anti-ligature standards, creating a safe space for overnight stays or longer.

Together, the two facilities provide the opportunity for cross-dependent mental health services to work together, ensuring children receive outstanding care and improved outcomes. Features such as therapeutic gardens and a sensory room provide a calming environment for patients to heal.

Joining the project at RIBA stage 3, we worked closely with the client, children’s services and supply chain partners to refine the design, delivering £5m savings. Sustainable materials such as glulam timber enabled the client to realise their vision for low carbon facilities within budget. Providing connections to a proposed on-site energy centre future-proofed the works to ensure compliance with net zero requirements.

End-user familiarisation training included a virtual model to avoid disruption to busy staff. Clinicians could access the model at a convenient time using their smart phones, ensuring they fully understood the layout of each room before completion of the works.

I can hardly comprehend what has been achieved in the space of less than a year on the main development and all during the pandemic. It really brought to life the impact of the charity’s ‘7in10 appeal’ on the design – the use of timber, all en suite rooms with a high ceiling and temperature control, proximity to nature, carefully thought-out sensory room and the amazing diner, plus the plans for art and music therapy. I was honestly bowled over by it.” Kirtsy Muir Charity Trustee, Alder Hey Children’s Charity