Research & development

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Sunflower House Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Research overview

Sunflower House is tier four mental health inpatient unit at the world renown Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, United Kingdom. It is for children and young people aged 5 to 13 years old who have the most challenging mental health conditions.

The new building has 12 specially designed bedrooms and a family bedroom, providing a safe and high-quality space to stay. Also provided are a new therapy garden, a calming sensory room that can be used to prepare young people for outside life, an immersive room, a destimulation room, a safe kitchen environment to learn cooking and other life skills, group therapy rooms and classrooms.

As part of our ongoing Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) research stream, we are undertaking a POE of the building. The POE will look at how the building is being used, what works well, if any design issues have been identified, any improvements that could be made.

The POE will also seek to understand user satisfaction with the building, opinions and feedback from the building users as to whether or not the building meets their needs and desired requirements, what they like or dislike about the building and any problems identified.

We will use a combination of techniques, including staff surveys and interviews, patient and carer surveys, patient workshops supported by clinical staff, and observational studies.

Current status

The POE is currently planned to take place in April 2024. Following the survey data processing and analyses process, the findings will be summarised in a report and reviewed with the Trust. With the agreement of the Trust it is our intention to present and publish the key findings thereafter.

Our research team for this project includes

Kate Bradley – Associate Director
Gemma Ham – Consultant
Katelyn Wells – Graduate Consultant