SEND Local Offer for Coventry - Physiotherapy - Children and Young People

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 or young person'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.  For more ideas visit our website 

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 talk to about this 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.  They will be able to get the form either by phoning us.

If you have been known to our service previously, you may be able to re-refer without going through another professional. To do this you will need to ring our department on 024 7696 1455.

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

• Prematurity

When won’t a Physiotherapist see my child?

A Physiotherapist won’t need to see your child if:

• Your child does not have a Coventry GP

• They are over 18 at the time of referral

• They have been recently discharged from the service and have no new needs or there is no additional intervention which is needed

• You child presents with in-toeing (pigeon toes) under the age of 6, that is not impacting on their functional ability

• Your child has flat feet. This would need a referral to a podiatrist.

Where do Physiotherapists work?

Our team is based in the centre of Coventry. We offer appointments at a location most suitable to carry out the assessment or intervention. This will be either the clinic at the City of Coventry Health Centre in the City Centre, a school or nursery or at a child’s home.

At the City of Coventry Health Centre we have specially designed treatment rooms and a gymnasium. It is also where we usually run our group sessions.

What are the Physiotherapy treatment options?

For many children their needs can be met by having a detailed assessment which supports family/carers to understand why a difficulty it occurring. The Physiotherapist will also provide information and activity suggestions to improve motor development or a particular skill. Many things will improve with specific practice and typically children are discharged after one or two appointments.

Some children need a specific course of intervention in order to treat a difficulty. This intervention may be carried out weekly for a few weeks. For some children this will include group sessions, Hydrotherapy or a programme of sessions with a skilled member of the physiotherapy team. We work closely with educational services and other health professionals to ensure that any recommendations we make are carried out throughout the child’s whole day, as this will make them more effective.

A small number of children need more regular Physiotherapy input. This may be to prevent their joints or muscles becoming weaker or compromised, or perhaps to support others in helping a child’s overall development. If this is the case for your child we will work closely with other staff involved to ensure we are all working for the same goals.

The types of intervention we typically offer are:

• Bespoke advice and recommendations

• Specific liaison with other professionals

• School visit

• Individual treatment sessions with either a Physiotherapist or a skilled Physiotherapy assistant

• Group treatment sessions

• Prescription of specialist equipment

• Hydrotherapy sessions

Here are examples of the current groups we run:

• Pilates: A mat-based group session that exercises the upper and lower muscle groups and the core of the body. This has an overall effect on strength, flexibility, co-ordination and posture.

• Baby Group: A developmental play group for babies and parents with identified developmental delay. It is based around floor play such as tummy time, rolling, early sitting and transition skills on the floor. The sessions run for six weeks and have input from both Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.

• Little Movers: A motor development group for pre-school age children. It is play-oriented and works on functional skills such as crawling, pulling to stand, and play in supported standing. The sessions run for six weeks.


Links with other services

We have strong links with other services and work closely with other professionals involved in your child’s care.

Some examples of this are:

• Orthopaedic Consultants – this is so we can ensure that we are timing our input around any interventions your child’s Consultant is carrying out

• School staff – we work closely with schools to make sure all staff working with a child know how to handle them physically and how to support their development.

Physiotherapists offer therapy in a variety of settings across the city including, schools and nurseries, other NHS settings, clinic rooms at the City of Coventry Health Centre as well as seeing children and young people in their own homes. The input required from our service will determine the best environment to see the child/young person.

Can I use this service?

Our service is for children/young people who have a Coventry GP.

We also give advice to parents, carers and other professionals such as teachers as part of a child/young person's therapy programme.

The service is provided to children and young people from 0 to 18 (19 if still in school).Initial referrals are accepted only from other professionals. Re-referrals can be made by anyone relevant to the child/young person, with the child/young person and their family/carer's consent.

Once referrals are received they are screened and prioritized according to urgency of need and placed accordingly on a waiting list. The child or young person's family/carer and the professional will be notified that the referral has been received.

Your views and how to get involved

Parents/Carers are fully involved at every step of the assessment process and play a key role in intervention their children/young people receive. This includes jointly setting therapy goals.



024 7696 1455



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