Autistic Spectrum Disorder - low secure

Fern provides a specialist low secure autism service for men preparing for a move to a non-secure setting or the community.  

We deliver ongoing treatment and rehabilitation, supporting skills development and relapse prevention. At the end of our secure pathway, the unit accepts transitions from the low secure admissions and stabilisation service, Berry.

Fern will also accept direct referrals where assessment has already taken place and the patient is ready to continue with ongoing treatment programme.


Welcome to FitzRoy House

St Andrews Wards 250717 Panorama 014

Spacious open plan living area

St Andrews Wards 250717 Panorama 015

Ward based arts and activities room

St Andrews Wards 250717 Panorama 018

Modern bright dining room

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Space to relax

Admissions criteria

People referred will have a history of challenging or risk behaviours, and be detained under the Mental Health Act.

These individuals may have identifiable mental health difficulties, in particular affective disorders, adjustment and separation-related disorders and psychotic illnesses.

Patients will have been previous assessed and will engage in an ongoing care programme. Fern can accept male patients:

  • aged between 18 – 60 years with a primary ASD diagnosis or for assessment pending diagnosis
  • who may have a learning disability (some patients with a mild or borderline learning disability, IQ of 50 or above may be considered).

At this stage of a patient’s care pathway we focus on relapse prevention and promote resilience and recovery. The person-centered programme contains therapeutic interventions aimed at reducing challenging and risky behaviour, whilst promoting the use of positive coping strategies and techniques.

Patients develop the skills necessary for a transition to a lower level of security or the community. The range of adapted interventions may include:

  • occupational therapy
  • maintenance and relapse prevention
  • health and wellbeing
  • education and vocational skill development
  • community outreach
  • anxiety management

 Patients may also continue with existing programmes they are already engaged with, for example:

  • sexual offending and/or inappropriate sexual behaviour
  • arson/fire setting
  • improving social understanding and communication
  • managing sensory difficulties
  • specific psychosocial interventions for adults with ASD

Next steps

Discharge is considered at admission and our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers to support a transition.

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