Autistic Spectrum Disorder - low secure

Newstead is a specialist low secure service for men with autism.  The unit accepts direct external referrals or patient transitions from medium secure services.

As an assessment and stabilisation environment, Newstead is an integral part of our comprehensive Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) service in Nottinghamshire, which supports patients in managing and understanding their challenging behaviour and is suitable for those in an acute or deteriorating phase of their condition.

Individualised care is essential for effective management of ASD and we pride ourselves on providing a bespoke service. We assess a patient’s ASD, health & wellbeing and vocational needs to develop a personalised treatment programme. Through continuity of care we’re able to encourage pathway transitions and support patients on a journey back to the community.

Admissions criteria

People referred will have a history of challenging or risk behaviours and would meet the criteria for detention 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.

Newstead can accept male patients:

  • aged between 18 and 60 years
  • who have 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).

Understanding the indivdual

Upon admission our aim is to assess distressing symptoms, stabilise risk behaviours, reduce anxiety and promote engagement with therapy. We assess patient’s ASD needs such as communication, social interaction and sensory difficulties using a range of specific diagnostic assessment tools including ADOS and ADI.

Psychiatric and risk assessments, including HCR-20, RSVP and START, help build a picture of the patients health and wellbeing needs. Physical health, nutrition and activity & exercise are also considered when we formulate the patient’s care plan.  

Therapeutic interventions  

A range of psychological therapies are adapted for each individual to support new skill development and address offending behaviours. Our aim at this stage is to prevent relapse and promote resilience and recovery, and may include interventions, such as: 

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


Patients can benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities, including:

  • modern bedrooms with en suite bathrooms
  • therapy areas
  • training kitchen
  • fitness suite
  • education room and library
  • large enclosed courtyard and garden
  • child and family visitor room
  • multi-faith room
  • GP and dental care.
Discharge plans

Delivering meaningful outcomes matter and we aim to ensure treatment is the least restrictive environment possible. Following a period of stabilisation, and once the patient is engaging in their treatment programme, they may move to Rufford for on-going treatment and rehabilitation that will provide them with the skills to live in a non-secure setting.

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