CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) Facility, Chester

Superb, state-of-the-art facility for children and young people with mental health issues
30 Bed
August 2016
Gilling Dodd Associates
BREEAM Excellent


Eric Wright Construction was appointed as the main contractor on the £9 million project to construct a new CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) facility for Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP).

The contract was awarded on behalf of the Trust by Villicare, Ryhurst’s joint venture with CWP, which was formed to assist the Trust with its capital investment programme, and managed the delivery of the project.

The new unit is a ‘Tier 4’ facility, providing in-patient and day-patient care for children and young people with severe and/or complex mental health conditions that are beyond the remit of community CAMH services.

The two storey facility has been built within the grounds of the Countess of Chester Health Park on a site owned by CWP. It provides 26 beds in two wards of 12 and 14 beds, each of which has been subdivided into two smaller areas with beds and day spaces, a central nurses’ station and a seclusion suite and a 4 bed PICU.

The new CAMHS unit also includes an education centre, secure gardens enclosed by the building for security and privacy, along with horticultural and landscaped areas providing recreational facilities including outdoor exercise apparatus.

Admin facilities on the ground floor adjoin a small two-storey section of the building, as well as visiting areas and communal spaces, such as Activities of Daily Living (ADL) amenities, exercise room and multi-faith area. The building is the shared vision of CWP and the young people in their care to ensure the facility is safe, person-centred and effective.


Design in Mental Health Service User Engagement Winner 2017

Design in Mental Health Project of the Year Winner 2017

A screwdriver and a wrench. Vector icons for video, mobile apps, Web sites and print projects.   8 Apprenticeships created      00_hard-hat_one  49 Work opportunities provided      ccs-score   42/50 Considerate Constructors score      waste-recycled   99% Waste recycled

Key Challenges

This project has been undertaken on a live site environment with the existing hospital remaining operational throughout the build.

The scheme included complex and varied façade material interfaces and geometry which involved a high level of attention to detail and quality checks.

Throughout the duration of the project we incorporated a number of changes which we were able to incorporate into our programme.

Added Value

We were able to add value to this scheme through a high level of service user engagement including workshops, site take over days, involvement in the landscape practical experience and a design/BIM workshop, helping create a lasting legacy.

We worked closely with the project and client team to incorporate and deliver a large number of changes within the project scope, resulting in what our client has described as an ‘exceptional facility’.

Client Feedback

“Ancora House is a credit to the commitment of everyone involved in the project, particularly the Trust for their courage in daring to be different and to the young people from the CAMHS service who have so enthusiastically helped and guided us to provide an excellent user-focused facility. The outcome will improve access, promote resilience and foster continuous improvement to deliver the best possible CAMHS services for the region.”
Chris Tonge
General Manager, Villicare LLP

Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.