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We are the provider for the NHS children’s community physiotherapy service in West Essex which includes children registered with a GP in Harlow, Epping and Uttlesford District.

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.

Paediatric (children’s) Physiotherapists bring their specialist skills as Physiotherapists and have additional expert knowledge and experience of child development and of childhood conditions.

Who we are

We are a team of Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapists registered with Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). We work together with our trained Therapy Assistant Practitioners to provide a comprehensive service, and we are supported by our Single Point of Contact (SPOC) administration team, who help the service run smoothly and efficiently.

We work closely with a number of other professionals including Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, our Healthy Family Team, which includes Health Visitors and School Nurses, the medical team e.g. Paediatricians, and Education staff.

Who do we see?

We work with children with neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g. Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy etc.) orthopaedic, motor difficulties and musculoskeletal problems (e.g. back pain, knee pain etc. ) We see children from birth until they leave education (18 years old for young people with musculoskeletal conditions)

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 progressRecommend 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 refer my child to the service?

We accept referrals from GPs, any medical practitioner and sometimes your school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) for children and young people registered with a West Essex GP in Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford. We do not accept self-referrals (from parents/carers).

What happens next?

Once a referral for your child from a healthcare professional has been accepted, the physiotherapy team will provide you with an initial appointment over the phone or by post.

The first appointment will take place in a clinic. We will take a detailed history, observe your child doing some tasks, as well as complete a physical assessment.

Where do you see my child?

We support families across Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford in a variety of settings, including virtually via telephone call or video call and face-to-face in clinic sites. We also attend schools/nurseries and carry out home visits as clinically needed.

We provide Physiotherapy clinics at:

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

We also support children who have Physiotherapy needs attending:

  • Harlow Fields Special School
  • Oak View Special School