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Coming to hospital if you have a learning disability

At Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital we want to ensure that all patients with a learning disability or autism are given the best possible care.

  • We aim to provide someone that you can contact if you are worried or anxious about coming into hospital.
  • We will promote effective communication with those involved in your care - whether they are community or hospital based.
  • We can give support and advice to staff in relation to personalised care and service delivery.
  • We have a team of champions who are here to support you.
  • We can organise pre-admission visits to make you feel more confident and less worried.
  • We can make reasonable adjustments to meet your needs, which mean we can do things differently to make you feel less worried or rushed.
  • We can give you a sunflower wrist band to wear or sign over your bed to let staff know you may need more support during your visit.
  • We can put a flag on your patient records to let staff know you have a learning disability and may require additional support.
  • We can provide you with a hospital passport which lets staff know the important information about you. 
  • We can help you to have a family member, friend or care partner stay with you while you are in hospital.
  • We can give you information in easy read documents.
  • We can help you raise concerns (a concern is a worry that you want to talk to someone about).

Ask Listen Do

Making feedback, concerns and complaints across education, health and social care easier for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both and their families and carers.

The Ask Listen Do project is aimed at supporting organisations to learn from and improve the experiences of people with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and carers when giving feedback, raising a concern or making a complaint.

Find out more about the campaign here.

To speak to someone about your admission to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, you can contact Claire Harvey or Caroline Rowlands on 0151 600 1616, or e-mail:


Family, friends and care partners

If you are worried about coming into hospital or visiting our outpatient department, letting us know in advance means we can make adjustments, go through your hospital passport, or help you to fill one in and to put a flag (or alert) on your relative’s notes to let staff know that they have a disability and may need adjustments to their care.


Frequently asked questions

Q. I have been told that the hospital has a care partner programme does this mean  I  can stay with my family member during their  time in hospital?

  • We are keen to support people who want to be involved in the care of their relative or loved one whilst they are in hospital. This can help the patient to feel more secure in an unfamiliar environment such as a busy hospital ward or department. You may already be involved in caring and have a lot of knowledge and experience about your relative or loved one’s likes and dislikes and what feels comfortable for them.
  • Staff will discuss with you how much care you can safely be involved in, any limits or restrictions because of your relative’s current illness and infection control procedures, such as hand washing.
  • Staff will check with you regularly to see how you are feeling and whether you wish to have more or less involvement. You can always change your mind if you are finding it too much.
  • If you would like to be involved in your relative’s care, please speak to one of the nurses on the ward who will be happy to talk to you about how you can help.  Your relative must give their consent (if they are able) for you to care for them in hospital, we call this our ‘Care Partner Programme’.

Q. I would like to stop overnight with my relative so they will be less anxious, is this possible?

  • If you wish to stay overnight, we can try to arrange for a pull out bed or arm chair or for you to stop in out relative’s accommodation at the Robert Owen House.
  • Robert Owen House is conveniently situated on site and provides accommodation for the relatives/carers of patients undergoing treatment at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Our team aims to ensure relatives/carers are supported during their stay with us in a safe, clean and friendly environment.
  • To book accommodation, please contact our team on the booking Number Tel No 0151 600 1688. Staff are on duty between 8am – 4pm Monday – Friday – 10am – 4pm Saturday & Sunday and our booking line  is available 24 hours a day for advanced bookings.
  • If you have a urgent accommodation request after 4pm please contact the Hospitals reception staff on Tel No 0151 600 1616
  • Room Charges are £25 per person, per night, for en-suite rooms, including provisions to make breakfast.

Q. I would like to be involved in my relatives care but will I get help?

  • Our Care Partner plan will be discussed with you by the nurse caring for your relative, you can let them know how you would like to help and when, there is no obligation to do everything or be there all the time, the staff will give all the help you and your relative need.

Q. How can I be involved in decisions about my relative?

  • If someone is unable to make decisions about their care, we always aim to involve their family or designated next of kin who know them best. Family and carers are invited to be involved in ward rounds when the doctor visits and have an opportunity to ask questions. Please ask the staff on the wards when the ward rounds will take place.

Q. I have heard you can make reasonable adjustments for my relative but I don’t know what they are?

  • We ensure that people with disabilities get the same high quality of care  and expected health outcomes as people without a disability, it is the law that we do this. We can make adjustments to how we give care, such as longer appointment times, a quieter environment, or providing easy read information leaflets.
  • We will meet with you and your relative and ask how we can help and discuss what adjustments we can make. If you would like to discuss this before your relative comes into hospital, call Christina on  0151 254 3008 or speak to the nurses on the ward that your relative is being admitted to.