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Mitford – Adult Autism Inpatient Unit – Information for referrers

For more information see our service brochure below

Mitford (5Mb)

Mitford Service Information

  • About our service

    Mitford is an established inpatient service for adults who are on the autism spectrum, who have extremely complex needs and display challenging behaviours to the extent that their needs cannot be met by local assessment and treatment services.

    The service also provides diversion for individuals who have been inappropriately placed within secure services.

    Mitford has been specifically designed to allow for highly individual environmental adaptations to reduce anxiety and positively impact on challenging behaviours.

  • Mitford environment

    Mitford Unit incorporates a large number of design features to meet the needs of adults on the autism spectrum and enables patients and staff to adapt the environment to individual needs with minimal change and reduce the possibility of challenging behaviours.

    Features include:

    - Single and shared living areas with option to create
    low / high stimulus environments
    - Precise temperature control allowing for rapid
    cooling or heating within each living area
    - Corridors that are non-threatening with curved
    walls and seating areas throughout to aid
    transition around the unit
    - Doors and units that can be hidden into walls when necessary to create smooth lines and reduce anxiety
    - High ceilings which provide feeling of space as well as diffusing sound and light • Sound-proofed living areas to help reduce noise sensitivity • Use of latest digital technology that allows patients to attend CPA meetings via Skype from their individual living areas Mitford.

    Mitford Inpatient facilities include:
    - Single person living areas with access to private garden area
    - Shared living areas with access to shared garden area
    - Bedrooms all with en-suite
    - Activity room
    - Sensory room
    - Therapy room
    - Kitchen and Laundry
    - Treatment room
    - Sanctuary and quiet space

  • Multidisciplinary team

    The multidisciplinary team provides bespoke specialist assessment and patient centred treatment and includes:

    Speech and Language Therapy
    Occupational Therapy
    Music, Art and Dance Therapy
    Creative Therapy

    Treatment Phase focuses on:
    The treatment of co-morbid conditions
    The amelioration of effects of autism e.g. lowering excessive levels of anxiety and arousal
    Behavioural learning to provide new skills
    The development of effective support strategies

  • Clinical model

    Our Clinical Model is time limited incorporating detailed pre-and post-admission assessment, evaluation and treatment of needs, specification of community provision and detailed discharge planning. The time scales are constructed to ensure that momentum to return individuals to their home community is not lost and that lengthy hospital stays are avoided.

  • Who is the service for?

    Adults aged 18+ years
    Male and Females
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    Complex difficulties associated with ASD

    The following will be required prior to admission:
    Clear agreement with Commissioners re funding. Clear assessment and treatment task.
    Clear exit route.
    Consideration of patient mix within Mitford Unit.

  • Exclusions

    The service is not suitable for individuals under the age of 18 years
    Individuals for whom autism is not the primary disability condition

  • How to refer?

    Referrals are accepted from Community and Inpatient Learning Disability and Mental Health teams regionally and nationally.

    Assessments are undertaken on a multi-disciplinary basis with team composition dependent upon the needs of the patient and referring service.

    If you would like to make a referral or for more information please contact us:
    Mitford Unit, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Northgate Hospital Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3BP.

    Telephone: 0191 245 6790
    Referral email:

  • Contact

    Mitford Unit
    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Northgate Hospital
    Northumberland NE61 3BP

    Telephone: 0191 245 6790
    Referral email: