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Reasonable adjustments in acute hospital settings: Information for autistic people and their families

Nurse And Patient

Hospital Passports

These are usually short documents which record the needs of the person filling it in. If they are called hospital passports or health passports, they generally refer to the needs of the person with reference to their medical needs and what reasonable adjustments the person may need. They are called passports because they are meant to ease your journey thorough the medical world.

Some examples of passports-

The National Autistic Society has a passport that you can download here and print off.

Some areas call them Traffic Light Passports such. This version of a Hospital Passport was originally designed by Gloucestershire NHS & was called a Traffic Light Passport – it was colour co-ordinated so that information was graded in importance from red to green, with red being considered ‘essential’.


You may be able to fill in your hospital passports by yourself, but there are some services that offer support to autistic people to fill these in. Ideally we would recommend that you do this in advance, at a time that you are feeling well and calm. However, if this is not possible, many of the hospitals have roles that are called Hospital Liaison nurses or teams. Click here to find a contact at your local hospital 

Reasonable Adjustment card

The GM Autism and Learning Disability Reasonable Adjustment in acute settings group have developed an additional resource, which is designed to be a small credit card sized card to ask for brief adjustments to ease the transit through the medical intervention/ support. 

The card would be ideal for use in the reception area where its unlikely staff would have the time to read a longer document. The card is based on an original card created by Royal Manchester Children’s hospital, which is part of Manchester Foundation Trust.  

The group has developed 4 versions of this card. These are below and can be printed off and laminated if required.

The idea is that one side is for adjustments needed when you are feeling relatively calm and to help you remain calm, and the other side is to communicate a more urgent need when the person feels distressed and needs people to understand this and to know how they can help.

Free downloadable cards:

Card for an autistic person 

Card for a person who prefers the term person with autism or person with an ASC


Card for an autistic person left blank to personalise


Card for a person with learning disability left blank to personalise

We strongly advise that if you have a passport you mention this on this card as this is likely to give more detail.

For information that the NHS has published in relation to people with learning disabilities going into hospital click here. Some of this information is useful for autistic people who do not have a learning disability as well.


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