Complex dementia

A 14-bed specialist unit (including a 1-bed transitional flat) for adult males with complex dementia.

Allitsen provides dedicated environments to support the cognitive, physical and behavioural management of active patients with complex dementia (including those with a forensic history), and caring support for patients at end of life stages of the disease.

Admissions criteria

We care for informal and detained adult and older-adult males with: 

  • a formal psychiatric or neurological HD diagnosis
  • co-morbid physical or mental health needs
  • a forensic or absconding risk requiring a managed locked environment
  • a history of emotional and behavioural difficulties including aggression to others and who are considered a risk to themselves or others
  • difficulties with self-regulation and control
  • problems in interpersonal relationships
  • a history of treatment resistance
  • a history of non-compliance with prescribed medication
  • been detained under either civil or criminal provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007).

Allitsen ward at a glance:

  • 13 single rooms (8 with en-suite)
  • transitional 1-bedroom flat with kitchen area and bathroom
  • physio room
  • visitors room
  • garden and 2 courtyards
  • 2 lounge areas
  • disability access shower and bath rooms
  • extensive MDT with specialist input including Dieticians, GP and podiatry
  • easy access to Therapy kitchen.

On-site MDT and tailored environments

Our on-site MDT is expert in the assessment, treatment and management of complex dementia and is permanently based on-site to meet the daily needs of patients, including those who present with challenging behaviour, overt aggression, sexual dis-inhibition and self-harm, as well as those with a forensic history. 

Our therapeutic environment is designed to create a welcoming and reinforcing experience for patients in our care.  In partnership with patients and their family our MDT construct programmes that utilise a full range of psychological and occupational therapy programmes which: 

  •     are highly structured and tailored to the individual
  •     provide constant guidance and support to reinforce appropriate behaviour and skills
  •     cater for those with intensive, complex acute needs
  •     are delivered by an extensive full-time team
  •     address functional and behavioural issues such as communication, movement, self-care, dis-inhibition and aggression
  •     carry out expert management of dysphagia and PEG feeding
  •     address, monitor and maintain optimal physical health.

Person-centred assessment guides our treatment

Our staff has extensive experience in supporting patients with complex dementia.  Their goal is to facilitate and maximise function and quality of life, whilst ensuring the best possible support for individual autonomy.

Each patient is provided with a tailored treatment programme that is designed in conjunction with the multidisciplinary team (MDT) and in line with our treatment aims, to maximise functional independence and good physical and mental health.

To support our care planning we routinely use:

  • RAID®   (Reinforce Appropriate: Implode Disruptive)
  • Dementia Care Mapping   (DCM)
  • Overt-Aggression Scale – modified for Neurorehabilitation    (OAS-MNR)
  • HoNOS secure

The goals of interventions on Allitsen are to:

  • ensure the safety of the patient and others
  • provide a multi-disciplinary assessment and formulation of the patient’s presenting needs that will inform both risk management and care planning
  • create an environment and culture that will improve psychological wellbeing and offer the maximum opportunities for positive behaviour
  • support the maintenance of skills and an enhanced quality of life
  • ultimately effect the changes necessary to help the patient move to a less restrictive setting, through the Care Pathway and where possible, to progress to an environment closer to their own home
  • provide comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment and treatment aimed at reducing the impact of cognitive deficits and associated behavioural disturbances and develop stabilisation for each person
  • optimise functional independence

Unique environments for unique needs

Our environments meet the unique physical and therapeutic needs of patients with complex dementia and reflect our warm, positive and empathic approach.

We have created safe, comfortable, structured but flexible units for our patients, providing homely environments to optimise:

  • independence
  • quality of life
  • respect and choice


Our facilities

Wide corridors, door-frames and wet-rooms ensure that therapy and living areas are fully accessible for those requiring disabled access.   Patients also have access to our 140-acre campus, which provides interesting venues to explore during family visits, and a range of other activities, including; 

  • indoor and outdoor gyms
  • patient café’s
  • 2 x swimming pools
  • access to Workbridge vocational services
  • patient library
  • A chapel and multi-faith facilities
  • Hairdresser
  • garden centre and cafés
  • beautician
  • patient recreation centre

Next Steps

Our Discharge Co-ordinators begins discharge planning from the point of admission.  Working with our clinical and social work teams they formulate plans and liaise with appropriate case managers to support a smooth transition.