Recovery First Widnes - Case Studies: Male Autism Service

Challenging behaviour often becomes a problem when service users with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are placed within a generic mental health setting. This is because the parameters that are put in place within an ASD specific environment cannot be achieved in a generic ward.

At Recovery First Widnes, we focus on implementing a structure environment that allows service users to progress through the Recovery First pathway.

Our ASD specific success stories

Neil spent 18 months on an Acute unit before coming to Recovery First, within 10 months he moved into Supported Living

Neil was admitted from a local acute mental health unit following an 18 month stay. Neil had an extensive history of absconding from both escorted and unescorted leave, which usually resulted in drug or alcohol intoxication. We began escorted leave a month into Neil’s admission. Since then, Neil has made dramatic progress and is now utilising unescorted leave on a daily basis both in the local area and to places further afield. Neil has been engaging in activities in the local area, and has joined a local badminton club. He also participates in ward based activities and is particularly talented at baking. Neil has now spent 10 months on the ward and is currently working with the transitional worker in preparation for his move into a supported living environment where he can continue with his recovery.

John came to Recovery First on 4:1, within 2 weeks at Recovery First he was on 1:1

John was admitted to Cedar Ward from an out of area Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit following a turbulent admission via a General Hospital setting. John was being managed on a 4:1 due to high levels of aggression towards staff and others. We immediately reduced the 4:1 to 2:1 on admission, within 2 weeks John was on 1:1 and within a month of admission these levels of observations were reduced to hourly checks. John’s incident levels have dramatically reduced and he is learning how to read social situations to avoid conflict. His physical health has improved and he regularly engages in both ward based and community based activities. John regularly accesses leave into the local community and is currently looking at commencing maths and English courses at the local college.

James arrived at Recovery First with 7 escorts and not having left his ward in 3 months, he is now on 2:1 day time support and accesses the community on a regular basis

James came to Cedar Ward from a Specialist Autism Service out of area, where he was reported to be unmanageable. On the day James arrived he had 7 escorts with him and he appeared highly aroused and was showing signs of agitation and aggression. With consistency and a structured environment, James began to rebuild his trust in the staff team and following a huge staff investment we managed to establish the cause of many of the behaviours within the first few weeks and therefore reduce them dramatically. With both staff and family input, James’ observations have been reduced to 2:1 support during the day and 1:1 during the night. After having no leave for 3 months in his previous placement, James commenced leave within 6 weeks of admission, James now accesses the local community on a daily basis and enjoys regular home leave to see his family. Regular positive feedback is received from James’ family with regards to his progress and their hopes for his future.

"I believe that you are living up to your name of 'Recovery First' and for the first time since James was sectioned I feel confident that he is well placed to make a full recovery"
Family of Service User with Autism

If you have any questions about our services at Recovery First Widnes or would like to discuss a placement, please contact us on 0151 909 2725 or email