We help children and young people who have difficulty with movement. We treat short and long-term conditions that impact on physical development, activity and the ability to participate in play, learning and socialising.
Your child may struggle with:
- movement in their joints or limbs which have a functional impact on their activities
- achieving expected physical developmental milestones
- moving between one position to another
- maintaining a typical posture independently
- participating in PE, games or other physical activities
- chronic conditions that can impact on normal everyday activities.
We work with you, health, education and social care colleagues, to help your child improve their quality of life, achieve their greatest level of independence and their potential.
How to access our services
You’ll need a referral from your child’s GP, health visitor, an occupational therapist or a hospital consultant. The referral will include details of your child’s specific functional difficulties. This will help our physiotherapist to assess your child’s needs.
Follow the instructions at the bottom of the form to return your completed from to us.
When we receive your child’s referral, our senior physiotherapist will assess their needs. For urgent referrals, there’s usually up to a 2 week wait for therapy.
For more accurate information on this it is best to call the team you have been referred to.
Once we have prioritised your child’s needs, we’ll assess your child in the most appropriate setting, either at home, in school or within a clinic. We’ll decide on the best course of action.
My child has improved since their referral, what should I do?
If you’re waiting to hear from us or you already have an appointment booked but you feel your child is better, call us. You can then decide together whether your child needs to be seen or if they can be discharged.
We’ll see your child in community clinics, at home or in school for physiotherapy sessions. We may help your child with standing, walking and sitting, as well as flexibility, strength and endurance.
We’ll explain how many sessions we think your child will need.
Physiotherapy sessions usually take up to an hour. Subsequent review appointments may be less depending on the level of therapy needed.
Your child will work with a physiotherapist. Sometimes other health professionals will join the session but we’ll tell you in advance.
Your child should wear comfortable clothing which is easy to move around in. It’s likely that some items of clothing will have to be removed for assessment purposes, but we’ll ask your permission first.
It’s also helpful for us to see your child wearing their usual footwear.
Bringing your child’s favourite toys may also help us to encourage participation in the session.
If your child can not attend an appointment, you must tell us as soon as possible. We’ll make another appointment more suitable for you as soon as we can.
If you miss an appointment without telling us, we’ll contact you and ask you to rearrange. If we do not hear from you within 2 weeks of contacting you, we’ll discharge your child from the service.
Family members attending your child’s appointment
As well as parents, it can be useful for other adults such as family members to come if they spend a lot of time looking after your child.
Our assessment rooms aren’t always large so we can’t accommodate groups. Bringing a sibling is ok if unavoidable but this can sometimes be a distraction.
Neonatal intensive care unit follow up
If your child was born before 31 weeks, weighing less than 1500 grams or needed specialist care after birth, one of our hospital consultants will refer you to our follow up clinic. We’ll advise you on techniques to support your baby’s early development.
Child development team
Our physiotherapist works with the wider team to provide integrated support for children under 5 years old with complex needs.
Equipment loan service
The Community Equipment Loan Service can provide equipment for children and young people with functional/physical difficulties.
Equipment can include:
- mobility aids such as walkers, sticks, crutches
- postural management such as standing frames
- orthotic devices such as gaiters, splints.