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Patients with Special Needs

If you have additional needs, which may be related to a disability or difficulty, that you, or a carer or relative/friend would like to discuss with us, you are welcome to contact the ward or department you are coming to and staff will be pleased to help. Please do this only a day or two before your visit so that a note can be added to your medical records.

Patients with a Learning Disability or Autism

Being admitted or attending a hospital appointment can be frightening, confusing and stressful. For people with a learning disability or autism these feelings can be magnified.

Hospitals can be noisy and have very bright lights. If this is something that causes you distress or anxiety, it may be worth bringing in some music that you can listen to with headphones, or even some ear defenders or ear plugs. Sun visors, baseball caps or sungladsses can also help with the bright lights.

If you would like to talk to someone about your admission or appointment before you come in please contact:

  • Jo Findlay, Learning Disability and Mental Capacity Act Advisor, 01305 253274.
  • Sarah Cake, Adult Safeguarding Lead, 01305 253274.
  • ​Patient Advice and Liaison Service, 0800 7838058.

They can put you in contact with the ward sister or hospital champion to help smooth your journey.

If you have a ‘This is Me, Hospital Passport’ please bring it in and to show staff.

If you have a ‘Yellow Health Book’ please bring it in too.

Here are some easy read leaflets which may be helpful:

Going into Hospital

About Your Operation

Leaving Hospital

Outpatient Communication Tool

Coming into the Emergency Department​

Information on Staying Healthy, Tests and Treatments​

The Learning Disability Mortality Review Programme (LeDeR)​

The Community Team for Learning Disabilities can also help before, during and after your stay or visit to hospital.

You may also find these websites useful:

People First Dorset

Dorset Learning Disability Partnership Board website

Mencap's Easy Health website

Dorset Mental Capacity Act Team

Dorset Advocacy ​​


We recognise and value the role of patient carers and will respect our patients’ wishes with regard to their carers’ involvement in consultations and treatment.

Advice for carers: Communicating the signs that a person you care for is unwell - SBAR tool.​

Wheelchair access

All our buildings are accessible to wheelchair users. If you need directions please ask a member of staff.

Guide dogs

Guide Dogs for people with visual impairment and Hearing Dogs for the deaf are welcome in all areas.

Parking for Blue Badge Holders

Allocated parking spaces are located close to all hospital entrances. Blue Badge holders do not have to pay for parking.

Go to our Getting Here page for a map of Dorset County Hospital which shows the sloped disabled access route and where the disabled parking spaces are.​