For people in assessment and treatment units

Many of the people currently living in ATUs have had multiple failed placements back into supported living environments.

A history like this can label someone as unsuited to life outside of ATUs. However, the reality more often than not, is that it is the system which has failed those people.

Maggie and Doreen are now happy in their own home

Dimensions always believes in the person, we are ambitious on their behalf when others may have given up.

ATUs may be supposed to be strictly short term, but the difficulties faced by the transforming care agenda demonstrate just how hard it can be for an individual to leave. Indeed, Dimensions supports an individual who spent 22 years in an ATU.

A central issue to moving people from ATUs is a commissioner’s ability to take a long view, especially with regard to funding. People may come out of hospital with high costs. Sometimes there won’t be an instant saving but, with the right support, costs can reduce significantly over the first year or two. This takes trust.

Planning is key. It is essential for a provider to be able to understand a person properly – it’s the basic principle behind person-centred planning and it remains as true now as it ever was.

So, the earlier a support and housing provider can be introduced to the individual and brought into the process, the better. It works best when a provider is involved before a plan for discharge has been made.

Families can be a massive asset in helping people to move out of ATUs. A family working with a provider and determined to see their loved one out of hospital is hard for ‘the system’ to resist.

Find out more about how we successfully support people out of ATUs using ‘Find local services’ at the top of the page.