Learning disability and autism support

Offering specialist inpatient services in partnership with the NHS.

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Priory offers specialist inpatient services for people who have a learning disability or are on the autism spectrum, through our nationwide network of dedicated facilities. We offer complete care pathways across our medium and low secure services, our rehabilitation and recovery (R&R) services and community rehabilitation. Pathways also continue into our range of community-based services, which include residential services and supported living accommodation.

Our focus is on helping people to develop confidence and overcome barriers that are limiting their ability to live full and satisfying lives. We recognise that no two people are the same and so we provide a flexible approach to recovery that's adapted to suit the needs of the patient.

We provide expert treatment and support through bespoke therapy, to help stabilise a person's mental health, enabling as many people in our care as possible to develop or re-develop their social, educational and vocational skills. Our ultimate aim is to help them progress to a more positive future and, where possible, successful semi-independent or independent living.

Service approach

The guiding principles that underpin our philosophy and standards of care include:

  • Care that is personalised, holistic and which focuses on the whole person, including their abilities, needs and aspirations, with particular attention paid to a person's functional performance and its enhancement
  • Use of recovery model principles
  • Positive behaviour support (PBS) programmes within selected services

Our team

Our teams work closely with the patient, their family and all key stakeholders, to collaboratively work towards moving through a discharge pathway effectively, safely and as efficiently as possible.

Our experienced teams work with people that would benefit from programmes that:

  • Holistically seek to support and improve co-morbid mental health conditions
  • Incorporate co-produced PBS to reduce distressed behaviours and use of restrictive interventions

Patient involvement

Every patient is encouraged to be fully involved in their own care and treatment planning, from referral to discharge. People who can't be involved because of the level of their learning disability are supported with the involvement of carers, family and other professionals. Regular individual care reviews (ICR), care and treatment reviews (CTR) and care programme approach (CPA) meetings take place to discuss, agree and plan treatment and discharge, according to individual needs.

Patients are encouraged to participate in educational and work skills programmes to help them develop their skills in a community setting. Some services offer Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) courses, which provide flexible and engaging programmes and qualifications that help people develop skills for learning, work and life. There are also courses organised by local recovery colleges, offering a variety of skills-based programmes, to help enhance the individual experience. Social and leisure programmes are also offered and include visits to local amenities or places of interest further afield, such as animal sanctuaries or nature areas.

We aim to help as many people as possible learn:

  • Greater interpersonal skills
  • Coping skills and stress management techniques
  • About their abilities and challenges and how to overcome these
  • How to effectively engage in groups or individually
  • How to communicate and co-operate with others
  • How to develop concentration and the ability to manage emotions

Carer involvement

Our teams work closely with families and carers (where agreed with the patient) in order to offer the very best support to people in our care. With consent from the patient, family and carers are involved in treatment planning from referral to discharge. They are also invited to CPA meetings.

Hear from patients and experts

Inside Priory's learning disability services network

Referrals and admissions

We accept referrals UK-wide. Information received by a site upon referral will initially be reviewed by an appropriate clinician, who will ascertain if the patient is suitable for the service. They will then discuss the case with the wider team and identify suitable staff members to carry out an assessment, taking into consideration any specific needs of the person.

The assessing team will carry out a thorough assessment and discuss their findings with the multidisciplinary team which will determine if the service can meet the person's needs. We aim to carry out the assessment within 2 working days of receiving the referral. Once completed, a full assessment report, including costings, will be provided to the referrer.

Once an admission is agreed, the patient will be provided with information about the service and will be given the opportunity to ask any questions. The patient (along with their family and/or carers) is welcome to visit the service at any point on the referral journey. We understand that coming to a new service can be a stressful experience for some and therefore, we encourage the use of familiarisation visits where appropriate.

We accept referrals from:

  • Provider trusts and local systems
  • NHS England specialised mental health case managers
  • Community mental health teams
  • Medium secure settings
  • Mental health acute/psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs)/secure inpatient
  • Prisons and courts
  • Social services and the police

Learning disability and autism services near me

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.

Call Us
Tap on a number to call
Make a referral