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Case Study: Harry’s journey from hospital to community

Harry* has a diagnosis of severe learning disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and epilepsy, and has been in institutions and hospital settings for over 30 years. In 2016 Harry was admitted to Cygnet Wast Hills specialist autism service, where he settled well into his new environment.

Over the next few months the staff team worked with Harry using the Positive Behaviour Support model. Harry developed therapeutic relationships with his support team and established a trust that enabled positive risk taking, both within the service and in the community.

This was a huge achievement, as prior to his admission to Cygnet Wast Hills, Harry became self-isolated in his bedroom, to the extent that his room was adapted so that all of his needs could be met in this area. Since admission his observation levels at Wast Hills had dropped from 2:1 to 1:1 and he happily made use of the therapeutic communal areas, even tolerating the presence of other service users.

Following such a long period in institutions and hospital settings, it was fantastic that within six months of being at Cygnet Wast Hills, Harry’s detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 had been revoked, he had commenced community access and although he still requires lifetime support for his complex needs, he no longer required active assessment and treatment in hospital.

We worked closely with his commissioners and a housing provider to enable Harry to move into his own home with a support team that would work with him in his own surroundings.

After decades of hospital care, Harry is now living in his own home, following a supportive transition with personalised support from the staff teams. This was a big shock for everyone, including Harry’s commissioners as prior to his admission to Cygnet Wast Hills, they previously believed he would never live in a community setting.

*Service user’s name has been changed to protect his identity

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