Nua Healthcare Wins International Recognition for Autism Care

Nua Healthcare, which has seven specialist residential facilities in Laois and Kildare, has become the first internationally accredited Autism service prov…

Nua Healthcare, which has seven specialist residential facilities in Laois and Kildare, has become the first internationally accredited Autism service provider in the Republic of Ireland. The UK-based National Autistic Society (NAS) awarded the accreditation in recognition of the high quality of residential care provided by the organisation, and said that the services were unique amongst more than 300 organisations which have been assessed worldwide.

“Nua Healthcare have achieved accredited status within twelve months of registering onto the programme,” the NAS said in a statement. “This is an exceptional achievement and is rarely within this timeframe. The robustness of the organisation is recognised by their proactive measures to seek external recognition of their achievements and in doing so become accredited by an internationally recognised organisation.”

Nua Healthcare has pioneered a fresh approach to helping those with high functional Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Traditional treatments had forced individuals to fit into predefined care structures, but Nua Healthcare designs a service to meet the need of each person referred to it.

Those using the facilities enjoy a higher quality of life through increased independence and the provision of training courses and activities. Since achieving accreditation, Nua Healthcare has been contacted by service providers in France and Germany who are considering replicating its model of care.

“We are absolutely delighted to have achieved accredited status with such high commendations,” says Edward Dunne, Managing Director of Nua Healthcare. “We have always strived to be the best in the field and achieving this status is a credit to all of our front-line staff who have worked so hard over the past few years to get our service to where it is today.”

The accreditation process involved the assessment of 17 core standards in relation to disability services, which are similar to those identified by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in Ireland. Nua Healthcare was then assessed on a further 15 standards which are specific to Autism care, making this accreditation process even more stringent than HIQA’s.

Nua Healthcare was founded in 2004 by experienced social care professionals to provide a specialist service for those with high functional Autism and Asperger Syndrome. It cares for 25 individuals and employs 75 staff across its seven facilities at Portlaoise, Nurney, Naas, Kilcullen, Monasterevin and Portarlington. It offers day services to complement its residential services, and also operates facilities for individuals with learning disabilities.

The international accreditation provides peace of mind for those using the facilities, as well as their families, who know they are receiving services from an organisation that adheres to international standards for quality of care.

A 2007 study revealed that the prevalence of Autism in children is one in 86. Asperger Syndrome is a high functioning form of Autism, and its prevalence is thought to be in the region of one in 300. An increase in awareness of Asperger Syndrome over the last decade has meant a growth in the number of those being diagnosed. This trend is set to put immense pressure on health services in the coming years.