National Autism Unit

Location: Bethlem Royal Hospital
Inpatient, day care
Average length of inpatient treatment:
4 to 12 months
Referrals are accepted from: Consultant Psychiatrists, Commissioners.
Beds: 17

Please click here to make a referral.

For outpatient diagnostic and treatment options please visit our Autism Assessment and Behavioural Genetics Clinic.

Key areas: ADHD developmental disorder, affective disorder, anxiety disorders, asperger’s syndrome, autism, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), autism spectrum disorder and mood, challenging behaviour, co-morbid autistic disorders, complex mental health, forensic behaviour, neurodevelopmental disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, pervasive developmental disorders, schizophrenia


We are the only NHS provider offering specialist inpatient assessment and treatment to men with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and:

  • Severe functional impairment due to mental illness.
  • Behaviour that challenges others.

Our multidisciplinary team provides expert treatment for people who have a primary diagnosis of ASD.

  • We provide person-centred, evidenced-based treatments including a range of skill-building packages to develop life skills and promote independence.
  • In addition to individual psychology sessions delivered by HCPC & BPS registered psychologists, all patients receive 24 hour psychologically informed care and support by the nurses who are all CBT trained.
  • We provide NICE guideline based CBT treatments for mental health difficulties commonly associated with ASD.
  • Our medical team is expert in psychopharmacology of mental disorders comorbid with ASD.
  • We provide a physical and daytime structure ideally suited to people with ASD.
  • We work to address both distress and disability.
  • The team works collaboratively with local teams, families and carers to develop increased independence and skills to be transfered into the community.
  • For those for whom high levels of support have been necessary we can usually help referrers and commissioners identify less restrictive placements.
Case study - Ellen

Ellen’s story

We saw a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with Asperger’s syndrome and referred him to a local psychiatric hospital. He was going there once every three weeks, but they weren’t offering him treatment. He also became violent at home, which made him impossible to live with…

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