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A new approach to hospital avoidance: Empowering U’s Crash Pad initiative



In 2023, Empowering U introduced a ground-breaking initiative called the “Crash Pad” that aims to provide short-term, safe, and supportive housing for people with learning disabilities.

This collaborative effort between Empowering U and Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust is dedicated to offering alternative solutions to help individuals with learning disabilities, such as autism (LD/ASD), avoid hospital admission.

By providing empathetic support and treatment through their experienced care team, Empowering U is dedicated to ensuring that every individual receives the highest level of care.

Pioneering Collaboration:

The collaboration between Empowering U and the Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust (BCHFT) has made significant strides in reducing hospital admissions for those with learning disabilities.

This initiative has served as a pilot for the collaboration with the Black Country Trust, highlighting their commitment to finding innovative solutions for the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities.

Since its inception, 28 TCP (Transforming Care Partnership) individuals have received support through the Crash Pad programme, reflecting the success and impact of this transformative initiative.

The Crash Pad initiative offers short-term housing options for learning disability patients who may be at risk of hospital admission.

The length of stay can range from a few days to two weeks, as the level of support required may vary for each person.

These specially designed houses provide a secure environment away from home and hospitals, where individuals can receive effective treatment.

The primary aim is to identify and address behavioural and mental health issues whilst allowing individuals to retain their independence in a short time frame.

“Our goal is to offer a holistic approach to care by creating a comfortable and calm atmosphere in our crash pads.

“Situated on a quiet street, opposite our day centre in Willenhall, we understand that we cannot prevent every admission.

“Therefore, we also utilise our crash pads to support hospitals in addressing their bed waiting lists as well as”.

Andrea, Care Manager at Empowering U.

Customised Support and Comprehensive Care:

The collaboration between Empowering U and the Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust focuses on delivering bespoke, comprehensive care and support to meet the needs of each individual.

Recognising the time and training constraints faced by hospitals, the Crash Pad programme aims to identify and address the specific autistic behaviours and mental health requirements of each individual.

This personalised approach ensures that everyone receives tailored support that meets their unique needs.

When contacted by the TCP, Empowering U promptly responds to requests for support from emergency departments throughout the West Midlands.

They assist in providing immediate support for individuals to their Crash Pad locations.

By minimising the occurrence of mimicking behaviours that are not characteristic of their normal behaviour, the Crash Pad programme effectively offers a safe and supportive environment for individuals with autism whose care is provided through the TCP.

The care team at Empowering U plays a crucial role in offering comprehensive clinical care, underscoring their commitment to providing a robust support system for each individual.

Empowering U’s Crash Pad initiative is a ground-breaking programme that offers alternative solutions to traditional hospital admissions for individuals with learning disabilities.

By providing short-term, safe, and supportive housing, this collaborative effort with the Black Country Healthcare Foundation Trust aims to offer individualised care that addresses the unique needs of each person. 

Through this initiative, Empowering U remains dedicated to personal transformation and recognises the importance of supporting every patient’s journey towards a brighter future.

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