For People in Assessment and Treatment Units

Many of the people currently living in assessment and treatment units (ATUs) have had multiple failed placements back into supported living environments. People like Aaron, Susan, Karen, Indy, Alan, and Steve.

A history like this can label someone as unsuited to life outside ATUs. However, the reality is that it is generally the system which has failed those people.

Maggie and Doreen are now happy in their own home

How Dimensions Supports People out of ATUs

Dimensions always believe in the person, we are ambitious on their behalf when others may have given up. We provide best practices for professionals, families, and policymakers examining how to support people successful out of ATUs.

ATUs may be supposed to be strictly short-term, but the difficulties faced by the transforming care agenda demonstrate just how hard it can be for an individual to leave. Indeed, Dimensions supports an individual who spent 22 years in an ATU.

A central issue in moving people from ATUs is a commissioner’s ability to take a long view, especially with regard to funding. People may come out of the hospital with high costs. Sometimes there won’t be an instant saving but, with the right support in the right home, costs can reduce significantly over the first year or two. This takes trust.


Planning is key. It is essential for a provider to be able to understand a person properly – it’s the basic principle behind person-centred planning, and it remains as true now as it ever was.

So, the earlier a support and housing provider can be introduced to the individual and brought into the process, the better. It works best when a provider is involved before a plan for discharge has been made.

Families can be a massive asset in helping people to move out of ATUs. A family working with a provider and determined to see their loved one out of the hospital is hard for ‘the system’ to resist.

To find out more about how we successfully support people out of ATUs near you, click the button below: