Intensive assessment and treatment teams

Who is the service for?

Our intensive assessment and treatment service supports people (aged 18 and over) with learning disabilities who are experiencing or causing in others high level of distress.

We support people who live in their own homes, supported accommodation or residential care. We provide intensive support to people who may be experiencing high levels of distress which may put their placements at risk, or who may require admission to an assessment and treatment unit.

When supporting people in their own homes we use person centred assessments to help us understand what is causing the person to become highly distressed. We work closely with the person, and their carers to develop positive behaviour plans to help the person better manage situations which cause them to be distressed.

We also support people returning to their local communities after being in an assessment and treatment unit.  

We ensure the right positive behaviour support plans are in place to help the person, and their carers manage situations which may cause them to become highly distressed.

How do you access the service?

You or your family member or paid carer can ring or e-mail the team to make a referral. You can also ask your social worker or health worker to make a referral for you.

Contact details


We usually work between 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday service, but may be able to visit or offer specific support that fall outside of these hours on occasions.

For out of hours phone

  • Devon Duty Team on 0345 6000 388
  • Torbay Duty Team on 0845 0568 032

Information for carers and families

Each team has professional advisors on duty who will be happy to take your calls or respond to your e-mails between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

This service is also available to health professionals and social workers referring on your behalf.

Information we may need

We may need to see copies of clinic letters and reports, epilepsy charts, medication records, behavioural incident charts, risk assessments and positive behaviour support plans. Your GP, other health staff, social worker and care provider may be asked to help provide information as part of our assessment.

Who you will see?

A member of the intensive assessment and treatment team will contact you or your representative to arrange to meet up and discuss your referral.

What if I need access to other services?

We have a number of pathways you may be able to access depending on your needs.

We have a 'challenging behaviour pathway' which helps us decide what assessments to use, help us to develop positive behaviour support plans to help you manage times when you are experiencing high degrees  of distress better, and enable us to ensure the plans are working effectively before we consider discharging you from our service.

We are also currently developing a 'mental health pathway' for people who cannot access mainstream mental health services because of their level of learning disability.

We also support other health colleagues who may be working with people on our complex physical health care pathway who are experiencing a high degree of distress. 

Getting involved

We are keen to make sure that people who use our services are offered the opportunity to be involved in helping improve the services we provide.

Please let us know if you would like to help or have some good ideas to share with us.