Learning Disability - low secure

A recovery-orientated low secure service for men aged over 18 with learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum conditions

Based on our Northampton site, Sunley forms part of our male Learning Disability pathway, the ward can accept direct referrals or transitions for patients stepping down from our medium secure service.

The philosophy of care is based on recognition that an individual has strengths as well as needs, and a right to support, treatment and care from our specialist multi-disciplinary team.

Sunley creative and vocational opportunities in our onsite workshop

Creative and vocational opportunities in our onsite workshop

Sunley bedroom image

A bedroom on Sunley

Sunley outdoor sports courtyard

Outdoor sports and activity courtyard

Sunley activity room

Sunley activity room

Sunley vocational opportunities WASP

Opportunities to learn new skills

Admissions criteria

Sunley accepts men aged 18 years and over with a learning disability.

Patients may also have a co-morbid needs including*:

  • ADHD
  • autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or suspected ASD
  • mental illness
  • Personality Disorder
  • Complex PTSD
  • Developmental trauma
  • Bipolar disorder
  • behaviours that could attract a conviction and are challenging.

*Due to their level of risk, patients would meet the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act, including those on restricted sections. These criteria are a guide for assessing suitability. Each patient will be individually assessed by our dedicated team.

Our care principles

Our Learning Disability pathway uses a treatment therapy ethos based on Positive Behavioural Support. We use RAID (Reinforce Appropriate (behaviour) Implode Difficult or Disruptive (behaviour)) principles to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a personalised and enduring system of support that enhances quality of life outcomes for our patients.   

Care plans are holistic in nature, with physical health and wellbeing needs given equal care and attention as mental health needs, social, communication and sensory needs.

Our use of psycho-education therapies is key to helping people understand their disorder, their strengths and needs.

The overall aim of psycho-social treatment model is to:

  • deliver person-centred care
  • reduce the risk of harm to self or others
  • improve psychological wellbeing and increase pro-social behaviours
  • promote the recovery and social inclusion of women with complex mental health, neuro-developmental and forensic care needs.

Our treatment model

Comprehensive assessments are predominantly conducted at our dedicated Neurodevelopmental Disorder Assessment Clinic where we provide specialist assessment, diagnostic, formulation and care planning services.

Patient treatment needs are then identified and form the basis of the subsequent individualised care and treatment programme.

A range of pathway specific treatments and services are provided through a comprehensive MDT, enabling the delivery of a tailored, holistic care programme:

  • Psychology; including Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Sensory Integration and Total Communication Approaches
  • Social work; child visits, home visits, safeguarding and staying safe
  • Occupational therapy; cooking, horticulture, self-care and domestic activities
  • Speech and Language therapy
  • Vocational opportunities at Workbridge  

Image shows a service user preparing food for our Workbridge cafĂ©, a public facing retail environment including a garden centre and ceramics shop where people can gain valuable work experience.