Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New learning disability assessment and treatment unit to open in Nottingham

Orion UnitA new inpatient service in Nottingham for adults with a learning disability and complex mental health difficulties and/or challenging behaviours that cannot be managed in the community will open November 19.

The Orion Unit, which is run by Nottinghamshire Healthcare and based on the Highbury Hospital site, can accommodate 18 adults and replaces the assessment and treatment units previously at Highbury Hospital and Lindsay Close in Mansfield.

It will offer specialist support tailored to individuals in a purpose-built environment, drawing on a range of models and types of intervention. Staff will work with the person, their family and professionals in the community to formulate the most appropriate treatment before discharge back to the community or other settings.

People who are referred to the Orion Unit can expect:

An assessment of, and the identification of overlaps between, mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, personality disorder, mental capacity, and contributory health condition

 To participate in a therapeutic environment which analyses interaction in order to understand personhood and address emotional needs

 To receive an integrated formulation that combines an understanding of the person and of their challenging or risky behaviour

To receive a range of specialised, evidence-based therapies and treatments

 To be cared for by staff who are themselves supported emotionally

To learn skills for self-care, meaningful activity, daily living

 To be discharged to settings that have opportunities to learn how the person has been understood and managed in the Unit and can access post-discharge support.

Each person in the Unit will have their own en-suite room, with access to a range of different living areas for dining, leisure and exercise; a garden area, quiet areas and space for a variety of therapeutic activities.

Prior to the opening on November 19 there will be a ‘sleepover’ for staff where they can experience what it is like to stay in the unit. Patients are due to move into the Unit on November 25.

Mike Cooke, chief executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare, said: “This is a fantastic facility which will offer the specialist care people with intellectual disability and their families require in times of distress. The purpose-built environment means that this care will be delivered in the most appropriate surroundings to achieve the best assessment, treatment and future outcomes for all.”

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