Children's community physiotherapy

Who are we?

We are all Chartered Physiotherapists specialised in treating babies, children and young people. This community physiotherapy team provides physiotherapy assessment, treatment and rehabilitation during or following illness, surgery, disease, disability or injury.


Treatment is based on assessment of the child/young person's needs and an individual treatment plan will be agreed with the child/young person and parent/carer.

Physiotherapists recognise the importance of working together with the child/young person, parents and carers to maximise the child's functional abilities and independence.

Children are seen at home, in nurseries and schools and in clinics. Clinics are held at The Stepping Stones Centre and The Telford Langley in Telford and Princess House and Multiagency Centre at Monkmoor in Shrewsbury. Other clinics are also available in Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Newport.

Our services

Our service, which covers the whole of Shropshire, aims to provide treatment and rehabilitation in the home, at nursery, school or local clinic depending on the need of patients.

The people we see

We see children/young people between the ages of 0 to 16 years old or 19 if in full time education depending on their condition.

The most common conditions we treat are:

    • Congenital syndromes and metabolic diseases
    • Developmental Delay
    • Musculoskeletal conditions e.g. fractures, sprains, hypermobility and sports injuries
    • Neurological conditions e.g. cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury
    • Neuromuscular conditions e.g. Muscular Dystrophy
    • Orthopaedic conditions e.g. talipes, torticollis and back conditions
    • Respiratory conditions e.g. Cystic Fibrosis

New patients

Referrals are accepted from GPs, consultants, social services, health visitors, other community health professionals and special educational needs co-ordinators in schools for children/young people from 0 to 16 years old, or 19 years old if in full time education depending on their condition.

Existing patients

Existing patients can contact us directly for help and support. Babies and children between the ages between 0 and 5 years old are seen at home, clinic or nursery/pre-school. Children and young people between the ages of 5 and 19 years old can be seen at home, in school or in clinic depending on clinical need.

Services we do not offer

We do not provide buggies, wheelchairs, shoes, splints, standing frames or car seats but we can refer to the appropriate services for this equipment.

What you should bring with you

If your child/young person has a clinic appointment please bring with you a pair of your child/young person's shorts for the assessment, any footwear or orthotics your child/young person uses on a regular basis and if you feel it would be helpful any letters or information regarding your child/young person. Please bring a drink for your child/young person for after the assessment/treatment session.

Frequently asked questions

When will my child be seen?

When a referral has been received it is traiged by a member of the physiotherapy team, prioritised and placed on the appropriate waiting list. We aim to see children/young people rated as "urgent" within 2 weeks and all non-urgent patients within 18 weeks. You will receive a standard waiting list letter followed by a written or telephone appointment when your child/young person's referral has been allocated to a member of staff.

How often will my child/young person be seen?

Following an assessment the physiotherapist treating your child/young person will discuss and agree with you the frequency of treatment sessions according to your child/young person's needs and in line with the Care Pathway relating to your child's difficulties. The frequency of sessions may change as your child/young person's condition progresses.

What will I be expected to do?

We will agree and demonstrate a treatment programme with you for your child/young person. This could include positions for play, tummy time, postural management, home exercise programmes and possible use of equipment.


Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and our "Local Offer"

What is the Local Offer?

The local offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. You can find out more about information about this on our SEND reforms and Local Offers page.

Service Description

The children’s community physiotherapy team provides physiotherapy assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for children aged 0-16 years old or 19 in full time education depending on condition. Children’s Physiotherapists have a specific interest and expertise in working with children and young people who present with a wide range of conditions. The Physiotherapists work in a variety of different settings such as homes, clinics, Child Development Centres and schools (mainstream and special). All therapists treat children with a variety of conditions, while some have additional specific areas of expertise such as respiratory, neurology or musculoskeletal.

We work in partnership with families, carers and other agencies.

The service is managed through the following teams, listed below.

Early Years

This service is provided for Babies and Young Children age 0 – 5 years. Following assessment; physiotherapy management may involve the provision of movement programmes, teaching parents handling and therapeutic techniques, recommendation for equipment, referral to and liaison with other agencies. We support families through the process of diagnosis and long term prognosis. These patients are seen at home, clinic, mainstream nurseries and schools and Special School Assessment Nurseries.

We run monthly drop-in clinics, across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, for Health Visitor referrals.

This team also provide input, as required, into the Multidisciplinary Assessment within the Child Development Centre based at Monkmoor and Stepping Stones Centres.

Community and Transition

This service is provided for Children and Young People age 5 – 16 years (19 years if attending full time education, depending on condition). This group of children and young people are seen in special schools, mainstream schools, clinics and home. The service also delivers a Comprehensive Training Package to the Education Staff, which includes: how the physical aspects of the diagnosis and prognosis impacts on posture, gross motor skills, function, access to the curriculum, therapeutic handling, use of equipment, activity programmes and competency training. Regular contact is maintained with families and carers to keep them updated on their child’s progress and involved with physiotherapy intervention.

Transition into Adult Services

For those young people who require on-going physiotherapy management we participate in the transition process to Adult Physiotherapy Services and other teams, e.g. Community Neuro Rehab Team.

Musculoskeletal (MSK)

This service is provided for children and young people aged 1 – 16 years who have a wide variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Referrals are received from Orthopaedic Consultants, GP’s, and Accident and Emergency Fracture Clinics. Patients are assessed, provided with treatment programmes and prophylactic advice. They are seen in local clinics which are held in Oswestry, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Shrewsbury, Newport and Telford.

Waiting times for appointments vary as assessments are prioritised by the lead clinicians; children requiring the most urgent support are seen within 2 weeks.

What do you provide to children and young people with an additional need and or disability 0-25yrs?

We provide:

  • A client centred Physiotherapy service to children and young people up to the age of 19 years of age with a physical, neurological, neuromuscular, muscular skeletal and / or developmental impairment
  • An intervention that maximises the individual potential of each child personally, functionally, academically and socially
  • Therapy intervention that works in partnership with the child, parent, family and carers, professionals and voluntary organisations
  • A service which is accessible and relevant and in the most appropriate community setting for the child and their family providing care closer to home, nursery, clinic, school
  • For children and young people to be comfortable in specialist equipment and for parents and carers to be confident and competent to use this equipment following training from the physiotherapist
  • For parents and carers to be competent following training in therapeutic handling techniques
  • Regular evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of the service through processes of user feedback, and outcome measures
  • Deliver a seamless pathway from child to adult services or an alternative service.

The amount, frequency and type of therapy assessment and intervention is based on each child’s strengths, difficulties and needs. The need for ongoing intervention is regularly reviewed with the parents, child or young person.

Do we provide support for parents and carers?

Although the focus of assessment and intervention is focused on the child’s needs, support is provided for the child’s parents or carers to help them to understand their child’s condition, have the skills and confidence to support their child, help them to manage risks, prioritise and make positive decisions for them and their child.

Who can use our service? Age? Disability?

The service is accessible to all children/ young people registered to a GP in either Shropshire or Telford and Wrekin referred to the service with varying medical conditions. Age range is from 0 – 16, or 19 if in full time education depending on condition. The service is offered to all children and young people regardless of ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender and disability backgrounds.

How to access our service (inc. referral routes)

Referrals are received by the Clinical Leaders and will be accepted from Consultants, GPs, other medical professionals and SENCOs. Once received they are triaged for priority, age, condition and location. Priority is categaorised as urgent or non-urgent depending on the diagnosis.

Referrals are received in writing either on the Children’s Community Physiotherapy referral form, by letter outlining the child/young person's difficulties or via an external organisation's own referral form.

Following receipt of a referral acknowledgement letters are sent to referrers and waiting list letters to parents (if the child/ young person is not going to be seen immediately). After initial assessment, the referrer is sent another letter informing them of the outcome of our assessment.

Referrals should be sent to:

  • Chris Hodnett, Team Leader
  • Stepping Stones Centre
    Brunel Road
    Telford TF3 2BF
    Tel: 01952 567300

When and where is our service available?

The service is currently open 9.00-5.00 Mondays- Fridays except Bank Holidays. Our main bases are listed in our "Contact us" section of this page (right-hand column).

Clinics are held at different venues on different days of the week. We hold clinics:

  • Shropshire:
    Child Development Centre Monkmoor,
    Princess House,
    Shrewsbury Oswestry,
    Bridgnorth (Bridgnorth Hospital)
  • Telford:
    Stepping Stones (Malinslee),
    Newport (Cottage Hospital),
    The Telford Langley School previously known as Phoenix Academy (Dawley)

Different interventions or services are better provided in different settings; this means that:

  • therapists may sometimes visit parents and children/young person at home or;
  • parents may be asked to travel to clinics or schools for appointments.

How can families contact the service?

Families can contact the service to find out more about what we provide or if their child is known to us to make contact with their child’s therapist through either of our main bases; see above for contact details. The Shropshire admin team office is staffed from 08:00. The Telford office opens at 09:00.

Interpreters are available for assessments of children and young people if either they or their main carers do not speak English or if they use other means of communication such as signing.

Feedback and Complaints

The service receives feedback from parents, partners and children and young people in the following ways:

  • audit of feedback questionnaires following treatment sessions
  • care planning and goal setting review
  • sharing and learning from informal comments, complaints and compliments.

Wherever possible complaints are dealt with verbally and locally with clinical staff, clinical leads and managers. If you have any questions or concerns talk with your child’s Physiotherapist.

Shropshire Community Health Trust has a dedicated Patient Liaison Service (PALS) and a Complaints Manager who are both available to be contacted for support. A link for further details about these services may be found in the relevant section below.

For external agencies: is the service free or charged?

Currently support for individual children is free. Charges may be made for training.

Is the service accredited? If so, by whom?

Care Quality Commission

How can families complain if they are not happy with the service?

All complaints are handled by our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and Complaints teams.


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