The Children’s Physiotherapy Service provides physiotherapy for children and young people in hospital wards, outpatient clinics and in the local community. This includes provision of physiotherapy for children in local schools, nurseries and homes.
Children’s Physiotherapists have completed additional training to specialise in the assessment and treatment of babies, children and young people. Children’s physiotherapists have expertise in assessment and treatment of movement difficulties. These may occur from a short term condition e.g. following a fracture, or may be due to a long term illness or disability e.g. cerebral palsy.
During a physiotherapy appointment, the physiotherapist will ask questions about the child’s condition and general development and will observe and assess the child’s movement. This may include assessment of strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and development of movement. Depending on the age of the child, the physiotherapist may use games, play and activities to help their assessment. Following assessment, the physiotherapist will explain to the parent and child what they have noticed.
Children’s Physiotherapists use a range of approaches, individually tailored to the child’s needs. This may include provision of individualised exercise programmes, postural management equipment, bespoke orthotics (foot splints or insoles to help a child or young person achieve a good ankle and foot position to help with standing and /or walking), walking aids and other specialist equipment. Physiotherapists work in partnership with parents and carers, ensuring that they receive advice, intervention and support to enable their child to achieve his/her movement potential.
Child Development Physiotherapy Service
The Child Development Service is a multi-disciplinary team which provides community services for children and young people with developmental health needs.
For physiotherapy this includes children with:
- delays in motor development
- movement disorders, including complex disability, neuromuscular disorders and acquired brain injury
The multi-disciplinary team includes doctors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and specialist nurses. Following physiotherapy assessment, an individual plan will be made for the child, which may include physiotherapy advice, direct intervention individually or in a group setting, and/or provision of specialist equipment. This plan will be reviewed and updated with the child, parents and members of the multi-disciplinary team. Physiotherapy is provided in clinics, homes, nurseries and schools, including special schools.
Children’s Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service
The Children’s Physiotherapy Musculoskeletal Service is for babies, children and young people requiring physiotherapy for:
- recent soft tissue injuries e.g. muscle and ligament sprains
- congenital conditions e.g. talipes, torticollis
- rehabilitation following orthopaedic surgery e.g. fractures
- long term joint and muscle pain e.g. low back pain, anterior knee pain, juvenile arthritis
Following physiotherapy assessment, an individual plan will be made for the child, which may include physiotherapy advice and direct individual intervention. Other services involved in the child’s care may be contacted i.e. school teachers and health visitors to help plan the care and support required. This plan will be reviewed and updated with the child, parents and members of the multi-disciplinary team. Physiotherapy is provided within clinics and may on occasion be reviewed in school. Where appropriate, children will be referred on for further review with appropriate services such as orthopaedic and orthotics clinics.