CRH Childrens Occupational Therapy.webpOur Children's Physiotherapy service assesses and helps families manage children with conditions that affect or compromise normal childhood development.

Physiotherapy aims to restore or progress a child's physical abilities following disease, injury or illness.

What we do:

Physiotherapists support children and young people who have difficulty with movement and treat short and long-term conditions that impact their physical development, activity and ability to participate in play, learning and socialisation.

Movement difficulties may be due to a range of conditions which include but are not limited to:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Developmental Delay
  • Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
  • Neuromuscular Conditions
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Down's Syndrome

Children's Physiotherapists work in partnership with the child, family and all other professionals from health, education and social care settings to maximise a child's physical abilities and independence. Our goal is to work with the family and caregivers so that they understand the child's physical difficulties empowering them to be able to support the child to achieve their best.

Children's Physiotherapists assess the child's physical abilities and analyse how they move. From this assessment, an individual physiotherapy management plan will be formulated. This may also include the provision of specialist therapy equipment to support standing, walking and positioning at night while sleeping. To use our physiotherapy services, your child will need to be referred to us.

What is expected of families and caregivers?

Family members and caregivers will be asked to participate actively in the therapy programme. You are free to contact us if you have any queries or concerns about your involvement. It is important that we work together.

Both qualified physiotherapists and therapy assistants work within the service. Initial assessments will always be carried out by a qualified physiotherapist. You may receive further assessment and intervention by a physiotherapist or a therapy assistant depending on your need.

All our therapists have a full DBS check and are registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council. Therapists work within and abide by, the codes of practice of their professional bodies - the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

Every staff member will also work with and abide by Chesterfield Royal NHS Foundation Trust's "Proud to Care" values

We are often involved in the training of therapy students. All students have undergone full DBS checks. If you do not wish for a student to be present at your appointment please let us know.

If you would like more information about Physiotherapy for children, visit the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists website.

Our outpatient team will complete an initial assessment that will be used to formulate a management plan. Your Physiotherapist will provide you with advice on how to best support your child's development. You may also be provided with a specific treatment plan that will be reviewed at a follow-up appointment.
Your Physiotherapist may also liaise with other healthcare professionals and your child's education team to provide the most appropriate care.

Common conditions we see include: 

  • Idiopathic toe walking
  • Positional talipes 
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Developmental delay 

We offer outpatient clinic sessions at The Den, Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Buxton Health Centre. 
For all enquiries, please refer to the referral page. 

Our community team see children who require Physiotherapy support in their home environment or education setting.

 We will work with the child or young person, their family, teaching staff and other relevant professionals where required. 

We endeavour to help the family and the wider team of caregivers to understand the child's physical difficulties and how to enable them to achieve their best.

 We will assess the child's abilities and analyse their movement to help formulate an individual management plan. This will typically involve teaching the parents, caregivers, support staff and the child-specific activities to practice and how to best manage their physical needs throughout their day.

This may also include the provision of specialist equipment to support healthy bone development, posture and physical abilities. Your child may be offered hydrotherapy sessions at the pool in Suite 5 at Chesterfield Royal Hospital if they meet the referral criteria. 

Your child may require supporting information, such as a postural passport which will be shared with the key people involved with your child's care to support their ongoing needs and development.

Some children may be reviewed through the Cerebral Palsy Integrated Pathway (CPIPs)*. These specialist assessments are carried out in clinics at The Den, Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Buxton Health Centre.

*Your child may be invited to a clinic, even if they do not have cerebral palsy, this will be decided by your Physiotherapist and will be discussed with you before you attend an appointment. 

See the CPIPs Information page for more information.

We also provide Physiotherapy support to our Orthotic services run by Blatchfords. If you need to, you can contact them directly via phone: 01256 316780 or email: 

We have a team of specialist Physiotherapists who work in our North Derbyshire special schools- Ashgate Croft School, Peak School and Stubbin Wood School.

The team support children in school who have identified physical and postural needs within their EHCPs and meet the referral criteria.

The Physiotherapist will assess your child's physical abilities and develop a therapy management plan. This may include a therapy programme, assessment for specialist equipment and support with hydrotherapy programmes as required. 

The special schools team work closely with education staff and other health professionals to make sure that your child's postural and physical needs are being well supported both in school and at home.

As part of your child's management a Cerebral Palsy Integrated Pathway (CPIPs)* Assessment may be offerred to further support and advise their therapy provision. 

*Your child may be invited to a clinic, even if they do not have cerebral palsy, this will be decided by your Physiotherapist and will be discussed with you before you attend an appointment. 

Further information regarding CPIPs can be found on the CPIP website.

The Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) clinic is part of a diagnostic pathway for children who may meet the criteria for a diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (gross and fine motor difficulties). This requires involvement from a medical doctor and therapist. In the therapy assessment, children receive a thorough two-hour standardised assessment of both fine and gross motor skills. This assessment is undertaken by both an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist.

Following assessment and a written report, families and schools are invited to a feedback session to discuss the therapy recommendations. The report is shared with the medical referrer and the child is discharged from our therapy services.

Referrals to Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) Clinic

Referral from medical doctor only (e.g. paediatrician, GP or school doctor).

DCD can be regarded as an umbrella term which covers motor coordination difficulties (gross and fine motor) and can include dyspraxia (difficulties with planning, organizing and carrying out functional activities).

The DCD clinic is a joint physiotherapy and occupational therapy assessment which is part of the diagnostic pathway. Only medical doctors can refer to the DCD service. Following standardised assessment, they will be provided with a report and information which should be used as evidence to aid or eliminate a diagnosis of DCD.

Referrals will only be accepted if children meet the criteria for assessment in the DCD service (see information pack below) and the correct process and paperwork are used (see below DCD referral form and parent and school questionnaires).

Please read the DCD supporting information before making a referral.

DCD clinic is a one-off assessment as part of a diagnostic process. A referral can be made to children’s occupational therapy using the blue form after a minimum of 6-9 months for new functional challenges at home or school. for more information regarding referral to DCD.

For a referral to be accepted, all three forms below need to be completed and enclosed:

Referrals to Physiotherapy must be: 

  • For children and young people aged 0-18
  • Registered with a North Derbyshire GP
  • With consent from the person with parental responsibility and/or the young person where appropriate.  

Physiotherapy referrals will be accepted from health professionals i.e. Consultants, GPs, AHPs, Health Visitors and School Doctors.

  • Referrals from non-medical professionals will not be accepted. 
  • All referrals are triaged and allocated to the most appropriate team based on the information provided.  
  • Please provide as much detail as possible to allocate to the correct speciality.

If the referral is for an MSK/Orthopaedic condition, please see their Referral Criteria, alongside the Minor Gait referral criteria. 

To refer a child to our physiotherapy services, use our referral form.

If you require any further information or have an enquiry about the referral process, you can contact the department on the details below:

Phone: 01246 514554