Oak unit

  • Oak Unit is a specialist low secure inpatient unit for men with intellectual (learning) disabilities with or without autism who require specialist forensic hospital care.

  • Service Type: Forensic Services
  • Service Category: Inpatient
  • Address: Oak unit,  Shaftesbury Building,  Springfield University Hospital,  9 Springfield Drive, London, SW17 0YE
  • Reception hours: 24 hours
  • Reception phone number: 02035136058 / 020 3513 6091

About our care

This inpatient Unit offers expert care and rehabilitation for a small, specialist group of male patients with intellectual disabilities who require specialist mental health care in a forensic setting. (The vast majority of our patients with intellectual disabilities who need mental health care, are cared for in the community). It is a high-quality service that supports the specialist forensic neurodevelopmental teams across South London in achieving the aim of a high quality, local and community-based, services for this population.

The service seeks to support adult men with intellectual disabilities who have a history of mental health conditions and/or offending behaviour to receive specialist, multidisciplinary, inpatient care in their local area. The Unit aims to support the recovery, rehabilitation, re-integration and discharge into the community.

All patients who join this inpatient service will be detained under a section of the Mental Health Act. This will allow these patients to be cared for in the right place with the expert specialist support they need, in the least restrictive way possible.

Through continuing to work in partnership with patients, their careers and families, our aim is to reduce the amount of time  patients spend in hospital, by offering them the skills and tools to re-join the community and enjoy community life and avoid them having to be readmitted.

Care is quality assured, and part of a wider package of specialised care and support. This includes specialised rehabilitation within the inpatient service and bespoke care and support in the community when patients are ready for this.

Patients are cared for in the new, bespoke, Shaftesbury Building at Springfield University Hospital, by a multidisciplinary team who have expertise in the specialist care and rehabilitation interventions that this group of patients need.

Who is this service for?

The ward supports adult (over 18) men who have a confirmed diagnosis of an intellectual disability, with or without autism, who have exhibited behaviours that would bring them into contact with the criminal justice system and require specialist, secure, inpatient mental health services.

Referrals and access

Referrals are only accepted from a consultant psychiatrist, or a delegated clinician who has assessed the patient in their current setting - for example, their current mental health unit or community setting, and who considers there is a clinical need for a referral to specialist intellectual disability, low secure, care.

Referrals are made by the South London Partnership.

Patient information

The unit has a large, specialist, multidisciplinary team consisting of psychiatrists, mental health nursing staff, psychologists, physical health professionals including an activity coordinator, dietitian, and physical health nurse, occupational, art and speech and language therapists, social worker and a positive behavioural support practitioner. The team offer occupational, behavioural and therapeutic interventions to optimise recovery and rehabilitation; this includes an individualised timetable of activities, group and individual therapies, specialised medical and nursing reviews and interventions and support to access education and training. The team works with local specialist services to plan for discharge into the community, including forensic community mental health teams, the forensic intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental (FIND) team and supported living providers.