Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Step-down housing

In line with our commitment to least restrictive practice Garden Cottage provides a homely 5 bed environment registered as a hospital ward and accepting male patients detained under the Mental Health Act. Garden Cottage allows people greater levels of autonomy in a safe environment where they can develop their skills and confidence in daily living, supported by our specialist forensic hospital MDT.

Preparing for the community

For some people a direct move back to the community from medium and low secure wards can be a demanding step. By enabling our MDT to continue with therapeutic and offence related work, combined with developing independent living skills, service users in Garden Cottage will significantly improve the likelihood of their successful transition to a full community placement.

To bridge the gap between a more structured secure environment, and a full return to community living this setting provides a homely 5-bedded forensic service, located in close proximity to our secure ASD service and the town centre, allowing us to test greater levels of autonomy and personal responsibility.

Admission criteria


Patients needs could include:

  • a diagnosis of  Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • a co-morbid diagnosis of mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability
  • being detained under the Mental Health Act
  • being on a pathway back to independent living from low or medium secure provision
  • being on remand in the community but needing hospital admission
  • the need for a forensic service if their community placement has broken down.

A setting aligned to the needs of people with ASD

The interior of Garden Cottage has been adapted and designed to meet the specific sensory and communication needs of people with ASD in terms of; lighting, decor, noise levels and labelling.

The environment replicates the experience of living in a house based in the community whilst maintaining close proximity to the hospital MDT and the huge range of on-site facilities, including;

  • Music and art studios
  • Workbridge, our vocational pathway with a public facing garden centre and cafe
  • Gym, swimming pool and fitness suits
  • IT suites and a library