Autistic Spectrum Disorder - low secure

Rufford completes our comprehensive secure ASD pathway in Nottinghamshire by providing a specialist low secure autism service for men preparing for a move to a non-secure setting or the community.  

Rufford provides 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, Newstead.

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

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. Rufford 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


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.
Moving on

Discharge is integral to the CPA approach and is considered at the point of admission. Our goal is to prepare the patient for community living. At the point of planned discharge, patients will have gained a range of skills in order to make a successful transition back into the community. Our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers to ensure a successful transition occurs.

Our Location