Information for the public
If you think that your care does not match what is described in this information, please talk to a member of your healthcare team in the first instance.
In the NHS, patients and healthcare professionals have rights and responsibilities as set out in the NHS Constitution (www.dh.gov.uk/en/DH_132961). All NICE guidance is written to reflect these. You have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about your care and support with your healthcare team. Your choices are important and healthcare professionals should support these wherever possible. You should be treated with dignity and respect.
To help you make decisions, healthcare professionals should explain autism and the possible care and support options for it. They should cover possible benefits and risks related to your personal circumstances. You should be given relevant information that is suitable for you and reflects any religious, ethnic, or cultural needs you have. It should also take into account whether you have any physical or learning difficulty or disability, sight or hearing problem or language difficulties, for example, it should be in an easy read format and available in different colours and fonts, or be communicated by video or sound. You should have access to communication aids, an independent interpreter (someone with whom you do not have a personal relationship) or advocate (someone who helps you put your views across) if needed.
You should be able to discuss or review your care and support at any time, including if your circumstances change. This may include changing your mind about the care and support you are receiving.
All care and support should be given with your informed consent. If, at any point, you are not able to make decisions about your care, your healthcare professionals have a duty to talk to your family, partner or carer unless you have specifically asked them not to. Healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent (www.dh.gov.uk/en/DH_103643) and the code of practice for the Mental Capacity Act. Information about the Act and consent issues is available from www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/moneyandlegal/legal. In Wales healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Assembly Government (www.wales.nhs.uk/consent).