In this section, you can learn about the specialised physical health services that are available for children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities in Coventry.
You will find information about health services in Coventry and about Coventry’s two year Health Check.
For general health information like GPs, dentists and more, visit:
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Health Services for children and young people with SEN or disabilities provide the following for children and young people:
There are many different health services available from acute hospital wards, to GPs to physiotherapists to immunisation nurses etc.
There are some health services that are more likely to be involved in supporting children and young people with SEN and/or disability. These services have different focuses;
You will find out more about the health services which commonly work with children with SEN and/or disability within Coventry in their specific sections of the local offer.
A health service provider is an organisation which holds contracts for delivering certain health services. Different providers will hold different responsibilities. There is more than one provider of health services for children and young people in Coventry.
Providers local to Coventry are;
Private practitioners and third sector (charity) practitioners are also providers in their own right.
Commissioning organisations are responsible for planning, organising and buying services for the populations they serve. They will contract with providers to deliver specified services.
The code of practice 2014 placed new statutory duties on clinical commissioning groups to contract services which specifically supported children and young people with SEN and/or disability. This was to ensure local areas worked better together.
To help clinical commissioning groups undertake their new responsibilities, they appointed to a designated clinical officer (DCO) and/or designated medical officer (DMO). These roles are undertaken by people with an appropriate level of knowledge and expertise of the health needs and systems of a local area.
Key responsibilities of these roles in Coventry are;
The Complex Physical Health Service provides specialist nursing care to children and young people with complex health needs.
Continuing Care is a way to decide how to make a highly specialist package of care for a child or young person who might need it. In Coventry, Community Care Nurses (CCNs) do assessments on behalf of the Clinical Commissioning Group.
If a child meets criteria for continuing care, a care package will be set up through the CCN team. You don't need a EHCP to qualify for Continuing Care.
These packages are for children for the most extreme and complex needs where even specialist services cannot meet need.
The Children's Community Nursing Team support children with a specialist nursing need in the community. This includes a special school nursing service in 5 special schools in Coventry: Sherbourne Fields, Baginton Fields, Castlewood, Tiverton and Riverbank.
The service is available Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm to children and young people up to the age of 18 or 19 if they attend special school who have a Coventry GP.
Children on the caseload also have access to a 24 hour telephone on-call service for urgent advice and support.
This is accessed via the Switchboard at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire; the phone number is 024 7696 4000.
They will also offer a 24/7 visiting service to those children who require end of life care at home.
The Birches Respite Team support children with highly complex needs to attend nursery and school, and provide respite for families in their homes or in The Birches Respite Unit. This includes overnight care to the children who have an identified need for it.
The team delivers services 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. The team provides an out of hours telephone on call service for those children who receive continuing care funded care packages. This provides advice and support for urgent matters outside of normal working hours.
Children who have very complex needs receive care packages that are made just for them and are funded by the continuing care process. They undergo a multi-agency assessment and are presented to the multi-agency continuing care panel to decide if they meet the criteria for a service.
All children on the teams’ caseloads will have a named nurse who will work with families and other professionals to meet the children's complex health needs.
The Birches Respite Team aim to enable children to be discharged from hospital sooner, and to prevent admission to hospital where possible.
They support their attendance at school and other care settings by delivering care themselves or training and supporting carers. The service has a Specialist Respiratory nurse, Specialist Palliative Care nurse, Specialist Epilepsy nurse and Respiratory Physiotherapist supporting children with these needs.
A Play Specialist works with children to support them with difficulties around their treatment and to support children and their families facing the end of their life. This includes support for siblings.
We are supported by the Clinical Education Team who deliver the training our nurses and carers need in order to meet the individual needs of the children.
Coventry’s Integrated Two-Year Review – ‘Together at Two’ Progress Check
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) progress check, usually carried out by a child’s key person, is a statutory requirement for nurseries and childminders delivering childcare to two-year-olds within the EYFS framework. The health and development review, at age two to two-and-a-half, is part of the Healthy Child Programme, and is delivered by health professionals. Whilst we recognise that children perform better in familiar surroundings such as their home or nursery, the two-year progress check often takes place in unfamiliar surroundings, which means the child may not truly show what they can achieve. The integrated review will bring these two assessments together providing a more complete picture of the child.
All children aged two years who are in childcare should receive a ‘Together at Two’ progress check before their third birthday, this may take place in the home, nursery or childminders. More often they take place in a health centre or Family Hub.
We have outlined the process to promote the sharing of this information at the child’s ‘Together at Two’ Progress Check:
In the first instance the 2 - 2.5-year assessment should be completed. The 2.5 - 3-year check can be completed if you need to compare a child’s progress against the earlier check (2 - 2.5-year assessment) or where a child has started at your setting after their third birthday and you wish to access support from the health visiting team.
Where a child is accessing support from the SEND team, an application for two-year funding should be submitted. This application will need to be endorsed by the child’s SEND support professional.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy aims to enable children and young people (CYP) to become as independent as possible and maximise their potential in their daily lives. The main activities that children and young people do include playing and having leisure time, learning to take care of themselves and participating in school.
Occupational Therapists (OTs) use therapeutic techniques and sometimes specialist equipment to help children and young people become as independent as possible with everyday activities such as self-care, school work and play.
Currently, Occupational Therapy for children and young people in Coventry is provided by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust.
Here are some common reasons to consider a referral to an Occupational Therapist:
Children and young people between the ages of 0-18 (19 years in special education provision) who are registered with a Coventry GP can be referred to this service. Referrals must be made by teachers and other health professionals like consultants, GPs, school nurses, health visitors etc.
If a professional is referring on behalf of a family/carers they need to get consent from the parent/carer before the referral is sent to the Occupational Therapy team.
The service does not accept referrals based on a specific diagnosis alone or for children whose functional skills are in line with their cognitive ability.
Concerns regarding behaviour related to toileting should be directed to the relevant health visitor or school nurse.
Once a referral is received it is prioritised by our Occupational Therapy team triage.
A letter will be written to the person who referred and the parent or carer when they make a decision about the outcome of the referral triage.
For more information, please visit the Children and Young People's Occupational Therapy in Coventry Website.
024 7696 1455
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
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
The Wheelchair service manages the needs assessment, procurement, supply, delivery, maintenance, collection, storage, decontamination and disposal of wheelchairs and associated equipment.
Wheelchairs range from highly sophisticated pieces of equipment with integrated micro-technology to basic chairs for occasional use.
The service covers a broad spectrum of wheelchairs and associated equipment to children and adults with long term mobility needs who fit the criteria.
This can be a person who has a single low-cost wheelchair to those with a complex, high-cost and continually changing need.
This service is accessed through referral from a professional. Please call the Wheelchair Service for more information or visit the Wheelchair Services website.
024 7623 7055