Executive blog: A walk through Ancora House

by Sheena Cumiskey - 08 September 2016

This week, Tim Welch, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance writes:

Last week we welcomed over 100 people to the official launch of our new CAMHS inpatient unit Ancora House. This included many young people involved with our services, their carers and families, CWP staff and key partners.

Throughout the day, members of the executive team and I helped our colleagues in Estates and Facilities host walking tours for those who joined us. Seeing people’s first impressions of our spectacular new building was such a privilege, and I’m thrilled by the overwhelming interest we’ve had in what is undoubtedly an exciting new chapter for CWP.

The story behind the site’s design and development is fascinating, and for those of you that weren’t able to join us on the day, I want to use this blog to at least give you a taste of what Ancora House is all about:


The name Ancora House was chosen by young people involved with CWP. ‘Ancora’ is a Latin noun meaning hope, refuge and support – perfectly describing the aims and objectives of the £14 million state of the art centre.



Ancora House holds 26 beds across two wards, a four bed ‘specialist area’, and an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted education centre. It will provide inpatient and day patient care (also known as Tier 4 services).



The site includes an exercise room, a multi-faith area, and a number of recreational rooms and therapeutic gardens.

Externally, there will be horticultural links to the nearby Country Park, providing young people with the space to engage with the local environment and exercise.



From the very start, Ancora House has been inspired by ‘collaborative engagement’, with young people having their say at every stage of development. This is clear from the innovative approach to design and the artwork that runs throughout the building.


So, what’s next?

The building’s built; we have the keys and we will be welcoming our first cohort of young people later this month. The next stage will see the installation of giant touch screens in wards to support therapeutic sessions and help young people express themselves in different ways.

As the site evolves, young people will of course continue to be central to any developments.

Over time, I have no doubt that Ancora House will establish itself as a best practice environment for inpatient CAMHS delivery, and inspire projects far and wide in the health community for many years to come.

Best wishes,


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