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At Priory, we are pleased to offer bespoke therapeutic placements (BTPs) for adults and young people with autism and/or learning disabilities. These placements are offered to those who present with complex and challenging needs which might include aggressive behaviours, sensory issues and emotion dysregulation, all of which can make it difficult for these individuals to be supported in a shared environment.

The core aim of our BTPs is to offer an environment with the least restrictive practices, and one that is completely tailored to the unique needs and preferences of our patients. Our aim is to support our patients to develop their independence skills, enabling them to transition to community living, wherever possible.

What’s included in a bespoke therapeutic placement?

Our BTPs are tailored programmes of care within a safe, secure and purpose-designed environment. This means we take an individual’s needs and requirements into consideration when forming a treatment plan and create the most comfortable and supportive environment as possible. Each placement is designed to accommodate a single person’s needs.

Our BTPs also include:

  • Collaborative care from our experienced multidisciplinary team (MDT)
  • Dedicated positive behavioural support (PBS) provision
  • A least restrictive model of care, with minimal use of restraint
  • Time and space for individuals to self-regulate their emotions
  • Activities designed around individual needs, interests and abilities
  • Family involvement throughout the duration of the programme
  • Close liaison with outside agencies to support individuals to attend appointments such as dentistry and hospital appointments

Bespoke environments

Our BTPs are designed to accommodate one individual and their needs, allowing us to easily adapt our units as needs and requirements change. Our units can be changed so that they constantly meet the emotional, behavioural and sensory needs of people using them.

Changes can be made in individual areas such as bedrooms, and communal areas like common rooms and outdoor spaces. We can use individual’s favourite colours, patterns and designs to decorate areas, and incorporate images and stickers to help emotional understanding. We can also create low stimulus ‘black out’ areas, designed to create a safe space if individuals ever feel overwhelmed. For service users who prefer to de-escalate with water, we are able to provide spacious wet rooms and showers.

Outdoor areas can also be customised and we can create large spaces for individuals to be in, whether that’s to run around and reduce energy or to alleviate any sensory issues they may have. Grassy areas can also be created for individuals who like to walk barefoot to regulate sensory stimuli.

Our specialist multidisciplinary team

We ensure that our patients are supported by caring, knowledgeable and engaged teams. Our staff are provided with high levels of support, supervision and training, and we engage in reflective practice in order to ensure continuous improvement. We pride ourselves on delivering dedicated and stable care, while offering consistency and familiarity to our patients, in order to build trust.

Our specialist team typically consist of:

  • Core nursing team and healthcare assistants
  • Experienced psychologists, who work with our patients to develop coping strategies, relaxation techniques and healthy emotional expression
  • Consultant psychiatrists, specialising in working with people with autism and/or learning disabilities
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Dedicated PBS provision, available throughout the duration of the BTP, prior to step-down. This allows us to produce sustainable outcomes
  • Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) input, where applicable

James' Story

*James came to with challenging and aggressive behaviours, which are difficult to manage on an open ward. He was a risk to himself and others, and suffering from past traumas and sensory issues. Our BTP was ideal as it allowed us to create a bespoke team and programme for James, which better suited his needs.

James has severe autism so we focused on developing a nurturing nursing and care team who were skilled in autism, all led by an ASD consultant. The team designed activities specifically around James’s interests and abilities with therapies including music, play and cooking, plus community engagement work. The overall aim was to give James the space he needed and the extended time to self-regulate his emotions. 

Over time, it became clear that the ‘single person environment’ was contributing towards positive outcomes. He became less aggressive and much more receptive to our team and the therapy on offer. Ultimately, this helped James develop independent skills and focus on supporting him back into the community as soon as possible. 


*James' name has been changed to protect their privacy

Specialist pathway support

Priory supports the Learning Disability and Autism Programme Agenda by helping people with complex needs to lead active and fulfilling lives in their communities. As such, we begin planning for our patients’ ongoing care from the moment they are admitted to our services, so they can be supported in the community as quickly as possible.

We can support the transition of service users within our BTP environments to move towards community placements and assisted living services, offered as part of our Priory Adult Care division.

We can assist with:

  • Including specialists throughout the individuals transition
  • Support assessment and development process for bespoke transition plan
  • Organise any external support for any additional assessed needs
  • Building positive relationships with individuals throughout their transition
  • Conduct ongoing reviews of the transition to ensure all parties are happy
  • Identity challenges early on and provide additional support if required
  • Respond swiftly to any relapse, ensuring individuals can access appropriate support and prevent hospital readmission

Our dedicated assessment and transition directors develop personalised pathways for each service user. Their focus is to ensure a seamless transition into community living, along with supporting and identifying alternative options to meet the changing needs of our residents.

Our bespoke therapeutic placement locations

We offer bespoke placements at five Priory locations. These are: 

Enquiries and Referrals

For further information on Priory services offered to the NHS, or to make a referral, please call our dedicated 24/7 customer service centre on 0800 090 1356. Alternatively, click here to submit an enquiry form

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Priory's bespoke therapeutic placements

For more information about our bespoke therapeutic placements, download our brochure.

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