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Reasonable adjustments in acute hospital settings: Information for professionals

Nurse And Patient

Hospital Passports

You may be familiar with people with learning disabilities using hospital passports, but autistic people who do not have a learning disability may also use these. This is because in a stressful situation an autistic person may find it hard to explain what they need and how they are feeling.

If an autistic person presents their passport please,

  • Read it as soon as possible

  • Take it on board even if the person does not “look” like they might need it

  • Understand that even if the person is verbal they may find it difficult to explain or to understand what is being said, as stress can make communication more difficult for the person.

If you would like to learn more about autism, please see the links below:

Reasonable Adjustment cards

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.  

This card maybe used 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 the person is feeling relatively 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

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

If someone presents you with this card please-

  • Read it ( it is very short)

  • Accommodate the reasonable adjustments

  • Do not question why/ if it’s necessary

  • Do not ask too many questions as the chances are the person is showing this to you because they are feeling stressed.


For more information on supporting autistic people experiencing stress and anxiety click here. 


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