STRUCTURE: Southern Health Foundation Trust has set up a specialist team to provide support, assessment and treatment for people with complex learning disabilities.

The six-bed centre, called the Willow Assessment and Treatment Unit, is to open on June 12. A trust press release today said it was a “unique NHS facility”.

Director of learning disability and specialised mental health services Amy Hobson said: “This will make a huge difference to people with complex learning disabilities who need the most specialist support and help.

“The assessments carried out at Willow are designed to examine the specific needs of a person and what influences their behaviour. It can also look at how a person can develop alternative and positive skills which can help them manage any difficulties. The staff and facilities there are amazing.”

The centre boasts a sensory integration suite which can help staff identify some of the difficulties patients can have with processing everyday experiences.

The unit will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists in psychiatry, psychology, and speech and language, alongside nurses and therapists with expert knowledge of certain behavioural conditions.

It will have 24-hour cover.