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Physical difficulties (16-25 years old)

Coventry SEND Local Offer

In this section, you can learn about the specialised physical health services that are available for young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities in Coventry.

You will also find information about health services in Coventry and about Coventry’s two year Health Check.

If you are interested in more general health information like GPs, dentists and more, visit:

Find out about:

View full details of An Introduction to Health Provision in Coventry


Health Services for children and young people with SEN or disabilities provide the following for children and young people:

  1. early identification
  2. assessment and diagnosis
  3. intervention and review.  

What health services are available?

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;

  1. Public health services for children ensure a whole population approach to health and wellbeing including preventative service such as immunisations.  They will deliver universal services to all children at specific times and more targeted and specialist services when needed.  School nursing and health visiting services work in this way by providing screening and support at key times and offering individual interventions when needed.  School age immunisation services have an immunisation program directed by public health delivered to all schools in Coventry.
  2. Community Health Services support children who have a specialist health need or an emerging specialist health need in their communities.  These services are often delivered by Community Paediatricians, Psychiatrists, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists and Psychologists. Children and young people can be referred into these services if a family or another professional had identified a need that meets individual service criteria.
  3. Some children and young people with specific specialist health needs may need Highly Specialist Children’s NHS Services provided by specialist regional or national providers. Referrals to these services will normally be made by the child or young person’s Paediatrician.
  4. All health providers have a responsibility to notify the local authority of any children under statutory school age who have or may have a SEN or disability, once discussed with the parents.

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.

Jargon buster

Health service provider

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.

Health service commissioners

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 Designated Clinical Officer and Designated Medical Officer

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;

  • To provide a contact for local authorities, schools and colleges seeking health advice on children and young people who have or may have SEN and/or disabilities.
  • To support providers in their duty of notifying Coventry City Council of children under statutory school age who have or may have SEN and/or disability.
  • To support commissioners in meeting their statutory duties in commissioning services to meet the SEND agenda.
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View full details of Assistive technology and equipment for adults


As a child or young person with SEND moves into adulthood, they will likely be interested in having a bit more independence on a day to day basis. Approaching adulthood can be a good time to think of what will help support this. Equipment and technology can help to support you or those you care for to manage day to day tasks. It can help maintain independence, build confidence, and peace of mind.

Equipment and technology can range from a simple device to turn on a tap to stairlifts and high tech monitoring systems. Some things can be standard equipment with a helpful feature, for example an electric tin opener. Information about the different types of equipment in the Coventry Information Directory.

Within Coventry we have a range of Telecare options (a form of assistive technology) which could assist should assist you in living more independently.

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View full details of Complex Physical Health Service - children and young people


The Complex Physical Health Service

The Complex Physical Health Service provides specialist nursing care to children and young people with complex health needs.

Continuing Care

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

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

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.


  • CCN Team 024 7696 1315
  • The Birches Respite Team 024 7696 1411
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View full details of Occupational Therapy - Adults 18+


Occupational Therapy for Adults 18+

Occupational Therapists within Adult Social Care work with children and adults to enable them to live as independently as possible. They can provide advice about a range of possible solutions that may make everyday tasks easier for you. This could range from daily living equipment such as bathing aids to stair lifts and monitoring systems.

An Occupational Therapist can also arrange for people to have minor adaptations carried out in your home to enable you to live at home safely.

When major adaptations to your home are required, Occupational Therapists refer people for a Disabled Facilities Grant. The service covers the entire city. Any child or adult with a disability who thinks they have care and support needs can refer themselves to the service or a family member can contact us on their behalf. The team can also receive referrals from other professionals, such as GPs.

We communicate with individuals during their assessment, review or completion of a support plan.

For people aged 18 and over who receive support from adult social care they are get involved in the Adult Social Care Stakeholder Reference Group.

Occupational Therapists normally visit people in their own homes.          

For more information please see the Occupational Therapy for Adults Website


Contact  024 7683 3003


[email protected]  

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View full details of Occupational Therapy - Children and Young People



Occupational Therapy for 0-18 (19 years in special education provision)

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:

  • When a physical difficulty is impacting on a child or young person's performance or development of skills. 
  • There are difficulties with age-appropriate activities of daily living (such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, washing hair)
  • To get an assessment for a child or young person to use equipment at home and school
  • To get an assessment of a child or young person's motor skills - these are important foundations for future skills
  • To get an assessment of visual motor integration skills (hand-eye coordination)

Referral criteria

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

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View full details of Physiotherapy - Adults


There are two main types of Adult physiotherapy. One is the outpatient services of the Coventry Musculoskeletal Service and the Women’s Health Service, and the other is  the Community Service, which includes some clinic appointments as well as home visits.

Coventry Musculoskeletal Service (CMS)

This service is for patients who require a restoration of movement and function when someone is affected by a musculoskeletal injury, illness or disability. We aid the rehabilitation of patients with a musculoskeletal injury through assessing, advising and providing treatment for the problem. It can also help to reduce your risk of musculoskeletal injury or illness in the future.

The service can only be accessed via a referral from a Coventry based GP.

Women’s Health Service

This service is for women who are experiencing continence problems, pelvic organ prolapses, and pelvic pain. Treatment of your symptoms will depend on the type of problem you have and the findings from your individual assessment. Treatments may include advice on diet, fluid intake, bladder retraining and exercise programmes as well as other medical treatment and specialist equipment.

The service can be accessed via a referral from your GP, Nurse, Consultant, Physiotherapist, Midwife or Health Visitor

Community Therapy

This service is for patients who require assistance to improve or reduce deterioration of movement and function when someone is affected by a musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory condition or who is generally deteriorating in their ability to cope with daily activities. We aid rehabilitation by assessing, advising (patients and carers/family) and providing some treatment, focussing on realistic goals that patients want to achieve in the short term.

The service can be accessed via a referral from a Coventry based GP

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View full details of 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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View full details of Wheelchair Services


Wheelchair Service
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

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