What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is a therapy that works to help people move about and lead as active a life as possible. Physiotherapists who work with children often look at how their motor skills are developing and give advice on how to encourage good development and how to improve skills. Physiotherapists also work with children who have certain conditions or disabilities to help them keep their muscles and joints in the best condition and to help them to be active.
What can I do to help my child’s motor skills develop?
There is lots you can do to encourage motor development, for example taking your child to clubs such as swimming, dancing, team games or martial arts, or to soft play or the park.
What can I do if I think my child needs Physiotherapy?
If you are concerned that your child has a difficulty, you will need to be referred to the Physiotherapy service by a professional.
People you can approach include:
· Your child’s GPs
· A health professional that your child is already known to such as their Consultant, Occupational Therapist, Health Visitor
· The school nurse attached to your child’s school
· Preschool education services or Early Support Workers
· Your child’s social worker
They will need to refer to us by filling out a form about your child.
When may a child with a difficulty need to see a Physiotherapist?
If you have a concern about how your child is developing, you should firstly speak to either their Health Visitor or GP. They may wish for your child to be seen by a Physiotherapist for an assessment:
· If a child is missing their motor milestones
· If a child is in pain when they move
· If a child moves around in a very different way to other children
· If a child has a disability or condition which means they need help to keep their joints active and healthy
What are common conditions Children’s Physiotherapists see?
· Toe walking
· Developmental Delay
· Cerebral Palsy
· Muscular Dystrophy
· Genetic conditions
· Musculoskeletal conditions eg fractures, sprains, Osgood Schlatters
· Chronic Pain conditions
The CCG commissions services from North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust to provide a team of children’s physiotherapists and therapy assistants provide the highest standard care, ensuring that not only health needs of the child are considered but also the family, social, emotional and educational needs for children up to the age of 18.
The service comprises clinical specialists, specialised physiotherapists and assistants who provide an integrated acute and community service for inpatients, outpatients and within the community.
Children receive physiotherapy within a variety of settings including hospital wards, a range of physiotherapy-led outpatient clinics, nurseries, children’s centres, specialist and mainstream schools and within the family home.
In the hospital staff work in a variety of areas which include the special care baby unit, post natal and children’s wards and physiotherapy outpatients.
In the community staff work in the patient’s homes, schools, nurseries and health care centres, providing specialist advice treatment and support to children and their families and carers. These children tend to have long term and sometimes complex physical needs and the aim is to maximise the child’s potential in all areas of life. Treatment may include hands-on therapy, positions for play, postural and 24 hour management plans, equipment provision, and rehabilitation / management programmes
Some of the Physiotherapy for Children and Young People who are attending special schools is commissioned by Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees CCG and provided by South Tees Foundation Trust.
South Tees Foundation Trust has a specialist team working into special schools and offer specialist assessment, advice and treatment to children and young people who have delayed or impaired functional skills associated with a wide range of difficulties.
Assessment and treatment is tailored to meet the child/young person’s functional difficulties. Individual therapy plans are developed in conjunction with the family/carers and integrated into daily activities.
More information is available at:
Services for Young People with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 25 are met by Health services in a different way by adult services. Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees CCG commission Physiotherapy services for people aged over 19 from North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust. The adults Physiotherapy Team work with adults from 18 years of age to assess, treat and provide advice and education to patients, their families and their carers if following injury, illness or disability. The adults physiotherapy service supports with the management of pain, help recovery, maximise independence and prevent unnecessary admission into hospital.
More information is available at: