Priory River House

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About this location

River House is located in the Shaw’s Bridge area of Belfast. It offers residential support for eight people who are on the autism spectrum or have a learning disability. We are in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Our team are dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the people we support, helping them to achieve positive outcomes. We want to help each person we care for to have a healthy, happy and independent life, within a safe and welcoming home.

We can also support those who have:

  • Mental health needs
  • Dementia
  • Mild to moderate behaviours that may challenge

Services at a glance

There are a total of eight bedrooms at the site. Of these:
3 are en-suite bedrooms
The remaining 5 are self-contained flats
4 are on the ground floor

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River House 114 Milltown Road Belfast County Antrim BT8 7XP

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About our service

Our facilities and environment

River House is made up of two large, detached purpose-built buildings, linked via a covered corridor, with are made up of eight bedrooms and a variety of communal spaces.

The upper ground level features a modern lounge, separate dining room and fitted kitchen, as well as a garden on the upper ground level which is fully secure and accessible to residents. This floor also has three large, individually decorated bedrooms that all have en-suite wet rooms.

The lower ground floor is made up of self-contained flats, each with an integrated lounge, activities of daily living (ADL) kitchenette, and a separate wet room. These rooms have been designed to promote the development of skills for residents. The lower ground floor bedrooms also have a separate secure garden with access to the shared gardens to the rear.

In summary, we offer:

  • A large lounge with plenty of seating
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Well-equipped activities room

We also have a large garden, complete with:

  • Secure fencing
  • Lawn
  • Patio
  • Communal seating
  • Sensory garden
  • Swings
  • Trampoline

We also have specialised equipment within the home, such as sensory lighting. In addition, we have a mobility-adapted vehicle to help us to meet the needs of the people we support.

Our bedrooms

All of our bedrooms are comfortable, welcoming and can be personalised to individual tastes. Five are self-contained flats, and the remaining three are en-suite bedrooms. Our bedrooms have:

  • En-suite facilities, containing either a shower or wet room
  • Robust, low arousal furniture

Our approach to support

Everybody who lives at River House has their own person-centred care plan, which is co-produced with input from the individual, their family members and professionals involved in their care. We aim to help everyone in our care to make their own choices about the support they receive. This may include support in a number of areas, such as going out in the community, personal care, cooking and cleaning and mental health.

Our support approaches at River House including positive behaviour support (PBS). We also have support from a local multidisciplinary team, including regular reviews from a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, dietitian, advocates, psychiatry, GP, and district nursing. In addition, we use tools such as the Outcomes Star™ to support our residents to achieve their goals.

The lengths of the placements that we offer at River House can be medium or long-term residential, depending on the needs of each person.


Everyone who lives at River House has their own personalised activities planner and are encouraged to take part in activities which are meaningful and fulfilling to them. Our dedicated team organise a variety of activities at the home, as well as out in the community.

We focus on supporting our residents to grow their independence. For some people, this may mean developing their daily living skills within the home. For others, this could be accessing work or educational opportunities in the local community.

Exclusion profile

  • Those who pose a risk to others in communal living areas
  • Those with active, significant self-harm risks


Through our network of healthcare, residential and supported living facilities, we provide unique care pathways which help the people we support to progress towards greater independence. Every individual we support is provided with a bespoke pathway plan, tailored according to their individual needs. We aim to ensure that each person is supported to live a fulfilling and active life in the community.

We have supported people moving from their family homes and those transferring from hospitals. Priory is actively engaged in the development of supported living services in Northern Ireland.

Our team

Our highly experienced team consists of:

  • Service manager
  • Deputy manager
  • Support workers
  • Senior support workers
  • Housekeeper
  • Cook
  • PBS practitioner
  • Driver
  • Maintenance team

Our team receive specialist staff training, designed to meet the needs of each individual we support. This includes:

  • Buccal Midazolam training
  • Epilepsy training
  • Autism specialist training
  • Dysphagia training
  • Non-invasive ventilation training
  • Boots medication training

Contact us for help, referrals or more information

At Priory, we want to ensure we provide the very best service to each individual we support. Contact us for more information, or to make a referral.

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Watch our video

Residential autism services video

About the local area


River House is within walking distance of local shops and parks, as well as major bus routes into Belfast city centre, which is only five miles from the service. Nearby amenities include:

  • Supermarket
  • Shops
  • Café
  • Restaurant
  • Pub
  • GP surgery
  • Post office
  • College
  • Park
  • Cinema

Transport links

River House also has excellent transport links, including:

  • A local bus stop just outside the home, providing good links to nearby Belfast and other neighbourhoods
  • A local train station
  • A short drive from the M1

Comments from our residents and their family and friends

Thank you for all your support, I am more confident now. I have a job and go to college which I really enjoy
Person supported by River House River House

Family and friends FAQs

How does home leave work?

We support our residents to attend family events and visit their own homes. We will work with the resident and their relatives to ensure possible risks are managed and that everyone is supported. This may mean the individual’s key worker will come along on the visit. For those who are unable to visit their own home, we can support your loved ones with video calls.

Can friends and families visit?

Family and friends are welcome to visit. Visits are usually planned in advance to support individual needs. Unfortunately, family members cannot stay overnight.

Will I be involved and kept up to date with the progress of my loved one’s care and support?

Yes, we strive to keep the loved ones of our residents involved in their care. Every month families are invited to a meeting at the home, where they will meet with the residents’ support team and hear about recent happenings at the home. We can also arrange more regular catch-ups either in person or via telephone, to ensure families are kept informed.

Will my loved one be able to have a phone or call me?

Everyone who stays with us are supported to call their loved ones any time, via phone or video call. Family and friends are also able to call as often as they like.

What are the bedrooms like?

Bedrooms are all furnished and residents are supported to personalise them to suit their needs and wishes.

Are external doors kept locked?

Yes, the front door is locked as you would at your own home. Our front gate is remotely operated and all of our external doors have key pad access.

What do residents eat and how do meal times work?

We have our own cook and they are able to prepare meals to suit all residents. Residents can also be supported to choose and prepare what they want to eat, whenever they like, this includes shopping for ingredients for their chosen meals. We will, however, support residents around meal times, such as preparation and dietary requirements. Our team will also seek guidance from family members and nutritionists to ensure that special dietary requirements are catered for. Our cook further supports our residents with a healthy well balanced dietary intake, taking into consideration their choices and wishes.

How does laundry work?

Residents are given help to do their own laundry, as part of promoting independence. Our staff are on hand to offer support if and when it is required. Our team will ensure that residents always have access to clean clothes and bedding.

Who does the housekeeping and domiciliary tasks?

Staff support and encourage our residents to complete these tasks, to promote their independence. We also have a dedicated housekeeping and maintenance team at the home.

Is there anything they can’t bring or have?

Residents are not allowed to bring illegal substances onto the premises. We would also ask that people do not bring high risk personal items into the house.

How do activities work?

Activities are planned according to our residents’ choices and interests. Thorough risk assessments are conducted before any activity. Everyone has a tailored activities planner. This will include both in-house activities as well as visits into the community. Their key worker may use a variety of communication tools to ensure they can have an input into the planning of activities.

How will residents be supported with their behavioural needs?

We use the PROACT-SCIPr-UK® framework, which means we focus on proactive strategies, rather than physical intervention. We recognise that people with a learning disability have the same aspirations and expectations as everyone else and should be empowered to achieve these. Some residents have sensory requirements to reduce anxieties, over-stimulation or to assist with emotional regulation and can incorporate these needs in to their support plans.

Do residents and families have an input into the care plans?

Yes, we encourage families and extended support providers to be involved with the care plans. We use a variety of communication tools to work collaboratively with the person we care for to co-produce the plans so they are tailored to their needs. We value this important input from others where appropriate.

What are the car parking facilities?

Off-road parking is available and encouraged as we are on a busy main road.

What is the smoking policy?

There is a smoking area outside for residents to smoke or to vape. We do not permit smoking indoors. Our team aim to promote healthy lifestyles and can support the people who live here with smoking cessation programmes, if they choose.

What are your fees and how are they funded?

Our fees can vary, and are based on an assessment of each individual's needs. Many people are eligible for financial help towards the cost of support, and this funding can be accessed by contacting your local authority. Once funding has been agreed, we will work with your local care team to put together a bespoke package of care. Please note, referrals for NHS or Local Authority funded services must come from a referring organisation.

How to make a referral

Our service provides high quality support to people with varying levels of need. Referrals can be made through the individual’s social care team or, if relevant, their local health authority. If you are a professional looking to make a referral, please call us or fill in our enquiry form.

Call Us
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Make a referral