Autism assessments and transitions

Meet Priory's assessment and transitions directors, who support autistic adults with complex needs.

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Priory offer a range of services for adults who are autistic or have a learning disability. This includes healthcare facilities, as well as community-based settings such as residential support or supported living services. Across all our services, our goal is to enable people to live active and fulfilling lives.

Within Priory, we have two assessment and transition directors for complex autism. Across the UK, they oversee the placement of autistic individuals with complex needs. Their role involves developing bespoke care pathways to enable people to transition into community-based services.

Supporting successful transitions

Our assessment and transitions directors work closely with people to carefully plan their transition into their new home. Their goal is to enable each individual to live in the appropriate environment for them. To meet this aim, they work with each person's support team to ensure that the right care and support is in place.

In addition, they support our site management and care teams throughout the assessment and transition process. This means that our teams can develop the appropriate skills and knowledge to meet each person's needs. At every stage, they work collaboratively with other professionals and experts, including our positive behaviour support (PBS) teams.

This work continues even after admission, so that the person can settle in and achieve positive outcomes. We are proud that our thorough and methodical approach results in placement stability and success.

Hear from our assessment and transitions director

Jamie Warrender, one of Priory's assessment and transitions directors, discusses how he works to develop the right support for autistic adults, so they can successfully transition to community-based living.

Introducing Michelle Widjaew

Michelle Widjaew - assessment and transitions director at Priory

Michelle Widjaew is one of Priory’s assessment and transitions directors. She covers the regions of Scotland, North West, North East, Midlands, and the South West. Michelle has almost 20 years of management experience within children’s and adult social care services. During her time within Priory, she managed a home rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In addition, Michelle is a qualified social worker and has achieved a Master of Education (M.Ed) in Autism. She is currently working towards her PBS Level 5 qualification. Across her career, Michelle has gained particular expertise in supporting autistic people with complex behavioural needs. She is passionate about supporting adults to successfully transition into the community from secure hospital settings.

Introducing Jamie Warrender

Jamie Warrender - assessment and transitions director at Priory

Jamie Warrender is Priory’s assessment and transitions director, who supports across the South East, Northern Ireland, and Wales. He has worked in social care for 16 years, during which time he has extensively supported people with complex autism. Jamie was formerly a dual-site registered manager of two of Priory’s residential homes. One of these services achieved an ‘outstanding’ CQC rating in all five domains, over two consecutive inspections.

Jamie has substantial experience in leadership, quality improvement schemes, and site turnaround projects. His expertise means he can successfully support complex autistic adults experiencing crisis or emergency placement breakdowns. He takes a collaborative approach, working closely with our service managers, teams, and multidisciplinary team (MDT) professionals. Together, they provide outstanding person-centred support and high-quality care to the people accessing our services.

Contact us for help, referrals or more information

For further information on Priory services offered to the NHS, or to make a referral, please call our dedicated 24/7 customer service centre.

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