Physiotherapy

The West Essex Children’s Community Physiotherapy team supports children with movement disorders, disability or illness to develop their movement skills and reach their full potential.

Physiotherapists work with children and young people, parents/carers and teachers to maximise independence and increase involvement at home, school, and in the community.

We support families across Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford in a variety of settings, including clinics, schools/nurseries and home.

Physiotherapists deliver services from:

  • St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping
  • Child Development Centre in Harlow
  • Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop Stortford
  • Saffron Walden Community Hospital

Services are also delivered in:

  • Harlow Fields Special School
  • Oak View Special School

Children's physiotherapy

We work with children with neurodevelopmental, orthopaedic, motor difficulties and musculoskeletal (MSK) problems from birth until they leave education (18 for MSK).

We provide specialist assessment, advice and help to assist children with their physical function such as their positioning, movement and balance. We work to enable them to achieve their best physical function and potential.

How we can help your child

Children will receive help and therapies in relation to positioning, functional ability, equipment, aids and splints.

The conditions we support and how we support them are as follows:

Developmental delay

  • To maximise independence and increase participation in home, school, and community environments
  • To improve gross motor skill function. We help children master the skills of sitting, rolling, crawling and walking. For older children harder activities such as throwing catching, running and sport skills are worked on.

Neurological conditions (for example: cerebral palsy)

  • To manage muscle tone, protect posture, post botox and try to reduce need for surgery
  • To maximise independence and increase participation in home, school, and the community
  • To recommend activity ideas to promote function and monitor progress
  • Recommend and review use of equipment such as mobility aids (e.g. supportive walkers) and positioning devices (e.g. standing frames, sleep systems)
  • Setting up and supporting families in delivering a safe 24 hour positioning programme
  • Advice about moving and handling of children
  • Working and liaising with other members of the multi-disciplinary team and tertiary centres

Neuromuscular conditions (for example: muscular dystrophy)

  • To maximise movement and to minimise deformities through a programme of stretches and exercises
  • Liaison with other members of the multi-disciplinary team and tertiary centres
  • Orthopaedic/musculoskeletal (0-18)
  • To maximise independence and increase participation in home, school, and the community
  • To reduce pain and return to function
  • To advise on preventing further injuries in the future
  • To refer onwards if symptoms do not improve

Who will my child see?

The children’s physiotherapy team includes:

  • Specialist children’s physiotherapists
  • Physiotherapy assistants with experience in neurodevelopment children’s physiotherapy
  • We work as an integrated service with the occupational therapists and speech & language therapists and will often work together

What happens next?

After a referral is accepted, all children will receive an individual assessment with advice and a treatment programme as required. Initial assessments will take place in a clinic in order to provide a detailed baseline assessment.

After the initial assessment, further assessments in school/home may be necessary. In some cases we can also provide assessments for equipment to support a child’s educational involvement and achievement.

Information for referrers

We accept referrals from GPs with patients registered in Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford.

Community Physio Referral Form