The Springs Wing – Mental Health with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Springs Wing is a specialist open rehabilitation mental health service for men on the autism spectrum and who may be stepping down from more secure services, including Cygnet Hospital Harrow’s own Springs Unit.

The aim of the Springs Wing is to help a person transition to more independent living or supported living services. We support service users who are not actively showing signs of immediate risk or aggression, but who may have deficits in their activities of daily living or their mental health needs. In the Springs Wing they will be actively involved in their rehabilitation and their needs will be met by the service.

The Springs Wing is registered on the National Autistic Society (NAS) Directory.

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The Springs Wing uses an extended behavioural modification model of care. As the first step in developing a treatment programme, the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) will work with a service user to comprehensively assess their strengths and their difficulties. This involves a full diagnostic assessment alongside assessing symptoms, risks and needs.

“I get on well with the staff, they are friendly and easy going. The food is quite nice too. The garden is also nice.”Service user, The Springs Wing

The team will use functional analysis to assess any behavioural challenges including looking at when these occur and under which circumstances. The team can then work with the service user to generate theories about what function the behaviour has for the individual and identify the maintaining factors.

The Springs Wing MDT includes psychiatry, psychology, occupational therapy and nursing. Care involves family and significant others to help with re-integration into the community. All staff on the Springs Wing, not just clinically focused roles, are trained in understanding autism, helping create an understanding and supportive environment for all service users no matter who they are engaging with.


A full daily programme is important for service users on the Springs Wing, and personal choice and options are at the fore of each person’s own individual timetable. The focus is on community-based activities wherever possible.

Activities include cinema visits, ten-pin bowling, visits to local attractions including Wembley Stadium and RAF Museum, fishing, local walks and golf. Service users use the local pubs and restaurants, leisure centre, art galleries and parks.

If there is a specific interest or activity anyone would like to enjoy, staff can facilitate this. There are also educational and employment opportunities for service users as well as a full occupational therapy programme to focus on the skills for every living, preparing people for a move into the community or supported living.


The Springs Wing provides single en-suite bedrooms and plenty of space including a garden, , fully-equipped occupational therapy service, psychology department, and social spaces.

Environments are set up in ways that contribute to the recovery of each individual. The hospital itself is set in beautiful grounds, employing a full-time gardener who in turn works with service users in looking after the garden.

There are great local transport links including buses and tubes. The hospital is set in a serene and quiet area but within minutes you can access the local community and transport.

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