Open 2 Autism

East Cheshire NHS Trust’s Open 2 Autism project aims to support people with an autism spectrum condition, both as a health care provider and as an employer.

To do this we aim to improve our staff’s understanding of autism so that we can be more flexible about our routine practices particularly when an individual with autism finds flexibility difficult.

Basic autism awareness training has been delivered to clinical staff and now all staff have access to a newly developed e-learning programme.  We have also developed a number of staff in key areas across the trust who have had additional training in autism spectrum conditions. These staff members are known as Autism Links.

The trust was recognised for its work in this area in 2014, when Macclesfield Hospital became the first ever hospital to be awarded the National Autistic Society's Autism Access Award

In 2016, the trust retained the Access Award for Macclesfield Hospital and also won the National Autistic Society’s Professionals Award for Outstanding Health Services.



Coming to hospital:

If you are coming into hospital and have an autism spectrum condition (or support someone who does) you can:

  • Use the email helpline to let us know your needs Messages will be checked on a regular basis.
  • Contact an autism link practitioner from the area you will be visiting to tell us how we can help support your visit. We will be able to answer any questions you may have. Please include your name, date of birth, visit/admission date and the area you are coming to. Then tell us what things might be difficult for you and what we can do to support you. 

Download contact details for our autism link practitioners here.

Patient Photo Journey

The link above and its content is intended to provide patients with learning disabilities, and their families, with specific information around our hospital services in an easy to read format. You may also may find these useful if you have autism or support someone who has autism.


More information about transition is available on the transition page.  

Patient/Carer Stories - their journey

Requesting a Carers Needs Assessment

Please click here for information about Carer Needs Assessments for those who care for adults. For information about all aspects of social care and support, please see the Information and Advice Cheshire East webpage on the Cheshire East website which covers all aspects of social care and support:


Open 2 Autism lead staff

Catherine Allbright Call Catherine on 01625 663981 or email

Sam Leonard Call Sam on 01625 663988 or email


East Cheshire NHS Trust’s Autism Accreditation Assessment

The trust has been piloting the National Autistic Society’s hospital accreditation standards and is currently  undergoing an assessment against these standards.    East Cheshire Trust is the first NHS organisation to pilot this newly developed hospital accreditation . We are delighted to be assisting the Society in taking forward this accreditation for roll out across NHS organisations.

Our Autism Link and trust staff are working across the trust to embed training, awareness and reasonable adjustments for everyone with Autism into all of our practices. We will update this area with information once the Assessment is complete in Summer 2019.