Skip Navigation LinksDCH > Patients > Patients with Additional Needs

Patients with Additional Needs

Coming into hospital is now very different. Please wear a face covering if you can and follow guidance around social distancing and hand washing.

You do not have to wear a face covering if you can't put on, wear or remove one because of a physical or mental illness, or impairment or disability, or if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress.

Please click for the latest Covid Easy Read Resources.

Keep up to date with the latest coronavirus information here.

If you have any questions or concerns please email or

An easy-read version of an open letter from the NHS to thank people for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.

An audio version can be found on the Dorset CCG website here.

An open letter from the NHS about the COVID current situation in Dorset is available in easy read here. (Nov 2020)

On average, flu kills over 11,000 people every year - some years this number is much higher - and it hospitalises many more.

The flu virus spreads from person-to-person, even amongst those not showing any symptoms. 

An easy-read leaflet all about flu and how to stop getting it is available here
An easy-read poster is available here.

Please see the below videos which you may find of use.
Soft signs of deterioration 


Structured communications and escalation 


Recognising deterioration in people with learning disabilities


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.
You can download the passport here. Guidance notes to help you complete This is me: My Care Passport are available here.

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 ​​

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.

Transition Rescourse Pack 
SBAR - Communicating the signs that a personyou care for is unwell (advice for carers) 

Transitioning to Nutricia Homeward Adult Services (easy reading version)

Mental Capacity Act 2005 (easy reading guide)

Mental Capacity Act Resource Pack

Guidance notes to help you complete This is me: My Care Passport

Resource pack for family carers of young people with a learning disability or autism

Transiting at Dorset County Hospital (easy read)


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.

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.​