Located in Kings Norton, Birmingham, Cygnet Wast Hills provides support for 21 individuals with autism, learning disabilities and complex needs.
The National Autistic Society’s Autism Accreditation Programme is the UK’s leading quality assurance initiative for autism-specific services, demonstrating a commitment to best practices in autism support. With over 30 years of experience, it’s a globally recognised standard.
Accreditation offers benefits like improved service focus, expertise in autism care, strategic planning, better outcomes, family reassurance, personalised service, increased referrals, reduced vacancies, and supporting commissioning bodies. It includes specialised awards for different providers, ensuring inclusivity across education, healthcare, community activities, and customer-facing organisations.
Assessors from The Autism Accreditation Committee visited the service in December 2023 and said they found clear evidence that “staff have a robust knowledge of evidence-informed approaches associated with good autism practice” and praised Wast Hills for its “excellent standard of care”.
As part of the assessment, they spoke with family members and carers of the service users, with one saying: “My son has come on leaps and bounds. The support staff seem really professional, caring and efficient. They really try to get things right for my son.”
Hospital Manager Victor Mudarikwa said: “We are proud of the significant accomplishments that led to this prestigious recognition.
“This attainment reaffirms our unwavering dedication to providing first class support to our service users with autism. It reflects our pursuit of excellence across various aspects including social communication, functional skills and self-reliance, independence and problem solving, sensory experiences, environmental sensory support, emotional well-being and positive interactions and engagement.
“It is brilliant news for the staff and whole wide team at large but more so for the individuals using our service and their families as this helps to demonstrate how the service has continued to improve in quality of service provision for people living with learning disabilities and autism.
“As we celebrate this achievement, we are looking forward to continuing our journey of providing first class care to individuals living with autism.”
In their final written report, assessors said staff provide the right level of support to enable each autistic person to experience a sense of completion and success whilst helping them develop skills of self-reliance and resilience.
The report read: “Each autistic person is supported in understanding what is being communicated to them by staff modifying their spoken language. Staff were heard to speak directly to people supported with clear language, short words and short sentences. Staff ensured they allowed sufficient processing time for a person to respond verbally.
“The service provides an excellent standard of care for autistic people who have been in crisis and where their previous provision has broken down as a result. Regular visits to local amenities ensure that the people supported experience a wide range of cultural and social activities off sites.
“Support is highly person-centred and tailored to individual abilities, interests, preferences and challenges. Support enables autistic people to become more confident in carrying out activities independently and empowers them to make their own choices so that they have greater control and self-autonomy in their lives.
“Proactive and preventative strategies are employed to help each autistic individual avoid anxiety or distress and to help them understand and regulate their emotions.”