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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists work with children, young people and their families to help remove barriers to children participating in everyday activities. Our occupational therapists work closely with children and young people to identify areas of strength and to build and develop skills.

Activities or ‚Äúoccupations‚ÄĚ children and young people may wish to develop participation skills in include:

Personal care occupations

These include:

  • dressing
  • eating and drinking (using cutlery)
  • washing themselves
  • brushing their teeth.

Productivity occupations

These include:

  • being able to attend to school
  • using classroom tools such as a pencil, scissors and rulers.

Leisure occupations

These include:

  • attending a dance or swimming lesson
  • painting
  • reading
  • playing in the park with friends
  • watching TV with the family
  • any activity the child/young person finds enjoyable and fun.

We work with you, health, education and social care colleagues, to help your child get the most from their lives and achieve their potential.

Accessing our services

The Occupational Therapy Service is commissioned to provide a service for children and young people.  For children and young people that are being referred to us via health referrals to be able to access our services you must be:

  • Registered with a Buckinghamshire GP practice that is a member of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB)


  • Aged 0-18 years, up to the day before their 19th Birthday.

For Children and young people who are being referred to use via education (EHCP’s). The child and young person must be:

  • ordinarily resident in Buckinghamshire, or ‚Äč
  • living in Buckinghamshire with no fixed abode, or‚Äč
  • temporarily resident in Buckinghamshire (including Children Looked After and refugees).‚Äč


  • aged 0-18 years, up to the day before their 19th birthday. ‚Äč


  • attend an Early Years setting in Buckinghamshire, or‚Äč
  • on roll at a mainstream educational setting in Buckinghamshire (mainstream primary and secondary including Additionally Resourced Provisions (ARPs), or ‚Äč
  • on roll at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRUs) or Inclusion Unit in Buckinghamshire, or ‚Äč
  • placed in a mainstream independent setting by Buckinghamshire Council as part of an EHCP or‚Äč
  • Registered as Electively Home Educated (EHE) or with an agreed Education other than at School package whilst not enrolled at a registered educational setting (EOTAS)

For Children and young people who are being referred for equipment you must:

  • ordinarily resident in Buckinghamshire,

Additional information:

  • The service does not provide therapy to special schools in Buckinghamshire, Independent Schools (unless placed by the local authority), Pupil Referral Units (PRU), those who are electively home educated (unless part of an agreed EOTAS package by the local authority) or in respite care and hospices.
  • Services are only provided within Buckinghamshire. Children and young people with a Buckinghamshire EHCP attending a school outside of Buckinghamshire should contact the local authority to discuss spot purchasing of therapy needs.

Children and young people who match our criteria for high health and care needs and will be seen for a face to face assessment.

High health needs – Physical

  • Children and young people requiring postural control advice/equipment who are at risk of developing contractures, respiratory complications or other ill health as a result of not being positioned correctly.
  • Children and young people with severe developmental delay
  • Dysphagia support (postural support/equipment)
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Equipment for hospital discharge
  • Assessment for Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
  • Support for Chronic Fatigue

High health needs ‚Äď Sensory

  • Sensory based eating/drinking support if impact on weight/failure to thrive
  • Sensory behaviours causing significant participation concerns such as school refusal or break down of family/home setting.
  • Sensory behaviours resulting in harm to self or others.

High care needs – Equipment

  • Children and young people requiring home equipment to be safe or to enable others to care for them safely.
  • Equipment in school setting such as seating or moving and handling equipment.

Educational Health and Care Needs Assessments – EHCP

  • Educational health and care assessments as requested by the local authority.

Children and young people who are looked after and those with significant level of vulnerability within the family will also be considered for face to face assessment.

To make a referral into the service please complete our referral form

Our service supports young people from age 5 up until the day before their 19th birthday with high/complex or urgent health and social care needs who have a GP and an address within Buckinghamshire

We work closely with school occupational therapists and other treating professionals. This ensures that the support children and young people get in school transfers to the home.

Our team work alongside the housing occupational therapists to provide equipment in the home. This equipment helps children and young people access community activities, participate in family life and remain safe at home.


We promote optimal seating positions to support safe feeding, taking part in family activities and how to protect body shape through postural management. Please see our writing and drawing posture advice sheet.

Personal hygiene equipment

This helps your child to have a dignified personal hygiene routine whilst minimising manual handling risks for their carers. Equipment can range from a simple bath chair to a more supportive showering system. We can advise you if your child needs adaptations and make a referral to the appropriate service. Please see our Toileting advice and tips sheet.

Hoists and slings

These help to reduce the handling risk to a young person, their parents/guardians and carers. Hoists and slings can be used in home and school for transfers such as from a chair to the toilet. It is important that hoists and slings are checked daily before use and serviced every 6 months. Please refer to the hoist and sling paperwork provided by our Occupational Therapy team.

Sleeping and lying

We encourage 24 hour postural care by improving night time positioning. This can help promote regular sleep patterns and reduce the risk of pressure sores and contractures by using a sleep system. We may recommend profiling beds for ease of care and safety.

Use our referral form to make an equipment request .

Further support

For young people who have had their 18th birthday

You can make a self referral, or get a referral from your GP to the Buckinghamshire Community Learning Disability Health Team.

Call 01494 838260 for High Wycombe or 01296 387516 for Aylesbury. You can also send an email

For adult housing needs, call 01296 387024 or email

Find out more about occupational therapy services in Buckinghamshire

Advice on toileting

ERIC, the children’s bowel and bladder charity has a helpline for advice – 0808 1699949.


Visit the Cerebra website for advice and guidance.

Advice for car transfers and specialist car seats

MK in car safety centre provides assessment, support and advice for all in car safety including car seats. You can arrange an assessment through the website or call 01908 220909.

Our service can provide written support for the centre family fund for any car seat they recommend for your child.

You can also access assessments from the Regional Driving Assessment Centre (RDAC) for people who have difficulty getting in and out of a vehicle as either a passenger or a driver, or need to assist people or load equipment into vehicles.

Assessments include:

  • car adaptations for driving and specialist driving tuition
  • car seats
  • powered wheelchair assessments.

Visit the website to complete a referral form or call 0300 300 2240 for centres located in Aylesbury, Northampton and Oxford.

Charitable funding letters for equipment

We can provide supportive letters if you want to apply for charitable funding for equipment. We can not provide funding for car seats.

Charities include:

Agencies we work with

Buckinghamshire Wheelchair Service provides assessment and wheelchairs for children over 3 years old. They must have a Buckinghamshire GP and a long-term disability resulting in permanent or significant difficulties walking indoors and outdoors.

Call 01494 734046 or email

Nottingham Rehab Supplies (NRS), the Buckinghamshire community equipment loan service, are responsible for all repairs and maintenance for all equipment we provide for a young person living in Buckinghamshire. This equipment is on loan and remains the property of NRS. Please ensure you read the loan agreement and safety information sheet that is provided when the piece of equipment is delivered to you.

Call 0345 123 8248 or email For any equipment collections and use of their assessment room for demonstrations, you’ll need to go to the NRS depot at:

Unit 1 Millenium Point
Aylesbury, HP19 8YH

Paediatric Community Occupational Therapy Service – Buckinghamshire Council (Housing OT)

For housing adaptations, housing support and permanent equipment, for example permanent ramps, and ceiling track hoists.

Email general enquiries and referrals to OT Childrens Mailbox: or call 01296 383 762

When a request is made to Buckinghamshire County Council for an Educational, Health and Care Needs Plan (EHCP) Assessment the county may formally request for an occupational therapy assessment to be provided by our service if it is felt there are occupational therapy needs which need to be assessed and documented within an EHCP.

If a child or young person requires an occupational therapy assessment to inform an existing plan please complete the ‘request to inform annual review’ referral form.

This should be submitted as soon as the need is identified but no less than 6 weeks prior to the annual review date so an assessment can take place prior to an annual review when an EHCP can be ammended.

Accessing an occupational therapist without the need for a referral

If your child does not meet our high/urgent health and care need criteria they are still able to access direct occupational therapy support via our website resources, live webinars and virtual advice lines.  No referral is needed and this support can be accessed by anyone supporting the child or young person.

Find out about our virtual advice sessions

Find out about our webinar sessions

Access our resources and guides

Equipment for those wishing to purchase appropriate items for their needs

Please find further information to support families wishing to self-fund and identify appropriate items of equipment to meet their needs: Safe and Well – Buckinghamshire

Occupational Therapy support you can access without a referral

Contact our Occupational Therapy team
Contact our Occupational Therapy team

01296 838000