Learning disability - enhanced support

Sycamore is a 4-bed enhanced support female service within our Learning Disability and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Division.

It is one of a very small number of highly specialised services in the UK able to provide intensive bespoke care.

The service creates the feeling of community-based care, yet in an inpatient setting.

Addressing an important need 

Across the secure network some individuals, typically long-stay inpatients, do not tolerate busy ward environments.  This leads to challenging behaviour and, within existing services, often results in long-term segregation.

Sycamore is an alternative provision of care aimed at improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

Ward images

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Admissions criteria

  • Female or identified as female, age 18-65
  • Confirmed primary diagnosis of Intellectual Disability (mild and in exceptional circumstances, moderate) and or Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Meets risk threshold for a Medium Secure Unit
  • Has exhausted all other available community and in-patient resources
  • Care needs warrant 24/7 monitoring and support (DoLS as per Acid test)
  • Cannot be safely cared for on open wards due to risk of aggression towards peers
  • Frequent, socially inappropriate behaviours and/or safeguarding concerns
  • Community Bespoke Placement not appropriate due to: having capacity and not consenting to their care plan; or intensity/frequency of aggression cannot be safely managed

Multi Disciplinary Care

Sycamore is an enhanced medium secure service placing women in individual suites consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and living room, with access to communal areas.

The ward provides intensive staffing and an MDT model of care, with a treatment goal focused on re-integrating people to a general ward environment, or possibly on to a structured community placement.

This is delivered via:  

  • Stabilisation and assessment with psychology
  • Treatment pathways to identify needs
  • Reflective practice
  • Skills assessment via OT
  • Development in areas of daily living and occupation
  • Sensory-needs assessment and interventions

Supplementary activities and sessions will be guided by the team.

Ward facilities

  • 4 x bedroom suites (bedroom, bathroom, lounge area)
  • Large day room
  • Quiet room
  • Circulation space
  • Activity courtyard
  • Meeting & interview rooms
  • Extensive FitzRoy gym
  • Extra-care suite
  • Therapy room
  • Treatment room
  • Games room
  • Clinic
  • Additional observation areas

Outside space

Access to activity space and fresh air is inherent in the design of FitzRoy House.

Each person will have an individualised plan at admission, and depending on risk assessment will have access to many activity and outdoor spaces, including:

  • Main courtyard
  • Outdoor ward spaces including on extra-care
  • Internal and external gyms
  • Extensive ground leave where appropriate