Caring for your Child

Caring for your Child

Your Child's Hospital Journey

Introduction to Children's Therapies

York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the NHS provider of Therapy Services (Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Paediatric Dietetics) for children and young people (0 – 18 years) in York, Selby, Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale.

Where children or young people require support from more than one therapy, our vision is to provide integrated therapy, ensuring that each child's integrated package of care is tailored to their individual needs.

There are two teams (one in York and one in Scarborough) of specialist Children’s therapists and services are provided at:

  • York Hospital
  • Scarborough General Hospital
  • Whitby Community Hospital
  • Malton Community Hospital
  • The New Selby War Memorial Hospital
  • Schools and nurseries
  • Community (at the patient's own home)

This Referral Pack tells people who want to refer a child for therapy services how the Children’s Therapy Service works, how to decide who to refer and tells them how to refer and what happens next. It will explain how to the service for more help and advice.


How the Children's Therapies Service Works

Children have an important job to do. They need to grow, learn, make friends and play and do this every day by finding out what they are able to do. When they are successful, children develop and live well.

Where children have difficulties with their learning, feelings, thinking or using their bodies, this can affect how they to grow, speak, learn, make friends and play, which can mean they have problems with basic day-to-day activities.  This will also affect how they are able to join in school activities, make friends and do things by themselves when they are grown up..

The Children’s Therapy Team works with children, young people and their families/carers to help them to be as healthy and able to do things by themselves as they can.

The therapy service aims to work with parents, health and education staff in supporting the development of all children. We try to make sure that parents know how to help their child to develop, what their child should do and if they should be concerned. We give training and advice to health care and education staff to make sure they know and are able to organise really good chances for a child to grow and learn. We give resources, leaflets, therapy ideas and training so that health and education staff can help children with mild to moderate difficulties wherever possible. As a result we expect that many children will be helped by those people who know the child best and spend time with the child on a daily basis.

There are some children who either do not respond to this early input or who need more specialist support. These are the children who may need to see a qualified therapist who will be able to assess the child and identify their needs, discuss and agree with parents and health/ education professionals how best to meet those needs Our service helps to support children using the following levels:

Universal level:

·  Staff in settings should understand types of difficulties and know how skills develop in these areas.

·  Staff will understand children’s needs and can pick out areas of concern.

·  Understanding a child’s difficulties means they can alter the environment to support these needs.

·  Therapy services will provide support for this level through specific training for settings and access to our training courses.

·  Advice and support will also be provided through talking to therapists.

Targeted level:

·  The communication and physical needs of some pupils will be met by knowing how to give the right support

·  At this targeted level the children would benefit from good practice strategies for communication and physical skills and would not need regular or continued input from therapies

·   In addition, some children will require additional support for their communication skills/physical development that can be met by setting specific activities for language, communication, social needs/ physical and sensory development needs

·   This may be delivered through group work

·   In order for this to work, setting staff will carry out targets during the school week in a focused way, following discussion with the therapists and modelling of activities as required

Specialist level:

·   Children who currently have a high level of specific therapy need would receive specialist support from direct assessment, programme planning and input by a therapist. Some children may need support from Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Dieticians

·   This would be in addition to the understanding of the difficulty  at a Universal level and the alterations and or planned activities provided by the setting at a Targeted level.