Edinburgh to Build New Autism Unit

Submitted by edg on Wed, 8 Jun '11 5.48pm

A brand new specialist unit is to be built in Edinburgh to cope with the growing number of people with Autism and learning difficulties.

The £4 million centre is due to be built on the site of Pefferbank Day Service on Duddingston Road West, and will replace two specialist Day Care Centres at Deanbank and Glenallan.

More than 50 people and their families will benefit from the move, with the new unit providing twenty Day Support Service places. The respite service will offer an average of thirty-eight nights to fifty-five individuals.

Following a review of existing buildings, it was found that Glenallan, Deanbank and Pefferbank were no longer fit for purpose.

There were also no local services which could provide specialist help to adults with learning disabilities.

Now, as well as providing activities and education in improved surroundings, families who use respite services will no longer have to travel to a facility out of town.

Service users, family members and staff will now benefit from a purpose built facility, with garden in a secure environment.

And moving with the times, the Council has sought to develop more innovative and personalised short breaks for adults with a disability.

Around £2 million of the cost is expected to be raised from the sale of the older properties.

Councillor Paul Edie, Health and Social Care Leader, said: “This is a very exciting project which will offer a huge boost for people who live with autism and learning disabilities. The specialist, purpose-built centre will be designed with the needs of people with autism and learning disabilities in mind. It will be more convenient for families of service users. In approving this new unit, the Council's Administration is demonstrating our commitment to continue to provide high quality care to meet rising demand for services.”

Jackie Tufft, Director of Autism Services at the charity, Scottish Autism, said: “We value localised services for individuals, recognise the need for them and hope to work in partnership with city of Edinburgh to help them achieve their goal of delivering personalised, local services. Scottish Autism have over 40 years of experience with a proven track record of providing services across Scotland and would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership to ensure the highest quality, autism specific service is provided.”

Work is due to start in 2012 with completion around 2013 to 2014.