Case Studies


ASC Healthcare is an independent provider of specialist services for people with autism spectrum conditions (asc) and cater exclusively for adults with autism spectrum condition.

They provide a unique delivery of a social and clinical partnership mode to actively support individuals in developing a range of life skills and functional strategies.

ASC Healthcare opened a new specialist independent hospital, the Breightmet Centre in July 2013 which provides services to patients who may or may not be liable to be detained pursuant to the Mental Health Act 1983 / 2007 and provides exclusively for adults aged 18 and over having autism spectrum conditions (asc).

Situated in the heart of the local community the Breightmet Centre provides a combined programme of enhanced therapeutic and asc specialist clinical support. It incorporates flexible and creative care pathway solutions for individuals who have experienced varying degrees of difficulty or crisis in previous care and support settings or for those who may have previously been placed within settings providing a higher level of security. It puts transparency and openness at the heart of service provision.

The Challenge

ASC Healthcare wanted to be a safe organisation by supporting safer working practices for all staff and provide a safer environment for all adults with residing at the Breighmet centre.

Athena was contacted in March 2013 and ASC Healthcare were in the process of completing new Safeguarding Policy and procedures for the Breighmet centre which was due to open later in the year.  ASC Healthcare were in the process of recruiting new managers and staff for the centre and wanted to ensure that any safeguarding induction training was tailored to focus on their new policy and procedures and safeguarding vulnerable adults with autism.

The training needed to include an awareness of the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for staff to be able to respond appropriately to the needs of those who lacked capacity and who were resident under an informal agreement.

Personal action plans were agreed for staff to complete at the end of the training which would embed ‘what they had learned’ into their day to day roles and future team meetings.

The Athena Solution

Athena designed a training programme that included a variety of learning approaches which were participative, inclusive and interactive. There were opportunities for discussion, individual and group activities, critical reflection. The format also included a solution focused approach for outcome focused planning and delivered in a creative manner.

Using Athena’s wealth of training resources, we designed a bespoke trainer’s script detailing the needed training resources, materials, training exercises or activities, learning outcomes and timings.  An accompanying ‘power point’ presentation was designed with detailed trainer’s notes for guidance.

The programme was designed and included the most recent Serious Case Reviews around vulnerable adult abuse to demonstrate findings and lessons learned.  The Athena trainer showcased ASC Healthcare’s new Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, regularly referring to relevant sections that supported key messages throughout the day.

The training handouts prepared were clear and concise and recapped the main themes of the programme. They also included links which directed participants to internet or intranet support.

The Outcome

An up-to-date, interactive and fun training course was created that fitted the requirements of ASC Healthcare. The training was delivered in an organised, friendly and structured way which resulted in the development of confidence and awareness levels for the whole team.

The whole team engaged readily with the creative exercises e.g. pass the parcel or the ‘Dols House’ exercise, using problem solving opportunities to strengthened learning and understanding.

The use of real life case studies and investigations brought reality and credibility to the training programme to demonstrate that all the staff at ASC Healthcare are in key positions to identify vulnerable adult abuse.

Rob Baillie – Centre Hospital Manager said, “The feedback from staff had all been most positive, in training scenarios such as this one the major difficulty faced by providers and staff is the translation of their training into practice – thankfully in this case given the level of planning provided by Athena and their approach to delivery staff commented that the gap had been adequately bridged and they felt more confident in their overall knowledge, ability and understanding.”