Children’s Physiotherapy Service – Wigan Borough

What does the Physiotherapy Service do?

Our aim is to provide a high quality physiotherapy service as part of a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of children and young people aged 0-16 or 0-19 if attending a special school.

We can support the child and their family with the physical needs and development of children and young people presenting with musculoskeletal, neurological, developmental, respiratory and orthopaedic conditions who may also have complex long term medical, social and learning needs.

The focus is on maximising a child or young person’s physical ability within their every day activities at home, in education and in their community.  Self management and independence is the aim of the service.

Typical activities

The physiotherapy service will offer expert knowledge in the following areas:

  • Children and young people who present with an underlying pathology
  • Children who present with general developmental delay with or without pathology, where it impacts on their gross motor development
  • Children who present with normal variants of the development of walking
  • Pre and post surgery management and rehabilitation for children and young people.

Children, young people and their families can access:

  • Specialist assessment
  • Advice and intervention on the basis of assessment of clinical need
  • An individual management plan developed and agreed with the young person, parents and carers as appropriate
  • Evaluation of outcomes and future plans.

Positive impact of the service

Physiotherapists have extensive knowledge and experience in recognising and managing a range of medical conditions and presentations.

When a child or young person has physical limitations which impact on their ability to participate in everyday activities, this can lead to reduced self confidence, poor attainment within education and negative behaviour due to frustration and low self esteem.

Through expert assessment, diagnosis, management and the enablement of the child and others around him, physiotherapist’s work to overcome the negative impact of these difficulties.

Our values

As a team we adhere to the organisational values of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust. We provide a patient centred service by focusing on the child / young person and the team around the family looking to make a positive difference to their lives.

We constantly strive to evaluate our service and look for new, more effective and innovative ways of working.

We value all forms of communication and aim to communicate in an open and honest way that enables an atmosphere of trust and respect throughout.

We offer a professional quality service, following local and national professional guidelines with a comprehensive management structure, support and training packages that ensure best evidence-based practice at all times.

We are locally-led and flexible about the settings of our intervention to best meet the needs of the child and family.

We are efficient and use our resources wisely to ensure quality care and value for money.

Where is the service located and what areas does it cover?

The team is based at Platt Bridge Health Centre and covers the whole of the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan area.  Services are offered in clinics, in children’s homes and education settings when appropriate ensuring that children are treated in an environment best suited to individual needs.

What families can expect:

  • Expert assessment including in depth analysis of physical ability and skills.
  • Collation of information about the child or young person skills to inform diagnosis.
  • Regular liaison with medical professionals, including consultants and other professionals in local and tertiary centres.
  • To be fully involved in the development of a management plan for their child.
  • That the plan will contain clear measurable goals and expected outcomes.
  • That the goals will link to daily strategies for families and others to implement on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect programmes that they and relevant others, such as nurseries and schools, are to implement on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect that they and important others, such as teaching staff, develop their own skills in using the appropriate strategies to support their child on a daily basis.
  • Families can expect coaching sessions which may include a defined number of coaching sessions with the child individually or in a group or a training package for parents and teaching staff only.
  • That all who work with the child have written information which is always copied to the family.
  • That physiotherapy staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans and reviews for children and young people with additional needs
  • Families can expect signposting to other agencies and services where appropriate and when families consent to this beneficial support
  • That physiotherapist’s advise and provide support for equipment where relevant and clinically appropriate.
  • The service will offer specialist assessment and recommendation of equipment
  • That where relevant, goals and management plans are provided jointly in order to work in a holistic and meaningful way with families.

Working with other professionals involved with the child

Evidence shows that the best results are achieved when we work with those in daily contact with the child and young person.  This enables those around the child to promote skills to their full potential in a variety of meaningful environments.  For the Physiotherapy service this means working with a variety of settings and with a variety of other people including parents and professionals.

Physiotherapists work closely with other therapy colleagues to provide an integrated approach to management.  This includes the Children’s Occupational Therapy service, the Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service and the Early Years Assessment Team.

The Physiotherapist aims to form a partnership with families and professionals to support others to maximise their child’s potential.  Parents are a significant member of the team who hold a unique insight into their child and whose contribution we value.

Our role as Physiotherapists is to provide support and coaching to the significant people in the child’s life to enable them to develop and maximise their child’s skills and potential.

Families can expect to see strong links with all colleagues including those in universal services such as the family health visitor and GP as well as other therapists, medical consultants based in community and the Royal Albert and Edward Infirmary and the tertiary centres at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Families can expect close working with partners from the local authority, both education and care.

How can I start using this service?

Making a referral:

Referrals to physiotherapy are accepted from a medical or health professional.

Professionals referring can do this through a letter or referral form with consent from the family.  Families can request any relevant professional to refer on their behalf.

Referrals to Physiotherapy are received and processed at Platt Bridge Health Centre.

Contact details

Children’s Physiotherapy Service
latt Bridge Health Centre
Rivington Avenue
Platt Bridge

Telephone: 01942 482457

We aim to make contact with families in a timely manner and all children are entitled to be seen within 18 weeks.

How are decisions made about who can use the service?

The Physiotherapist can support children and young people 0-16 years (and 0-19 years where they attend special school) with functional and daily living activities in relation to the daily environment.

The team provides a service to children and families residing in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan or being educated in the Wigan borough or those registered with a Wigan GP.

Moving on – transitions and discharge

A young person’s needs are continually reviewed and reassessed.   Where the service continues to be involved then transition points such as school entry or  moving from primary to secondary school will be supported to be as seamless as possible by ensuring links are made with other services.

Once the child or young person has reached their ability to become self sufficient with their physical skills or they have reached their anticipated level of independence, the role of the Physiotherapist is over.

When the child or young person or their parents or other professionals are self sufficient with respect to knowledge about appropriate strategies the service will discharge the child to the care of these relevant others.  This is likely to be at the point where:

  • Skills are at an optimum level and the child or young person’s parents and teaching staff are trained to maintain the physical and functional skills acquired and to ensure they are supported in an appropriate learning environment
  • Difficulties no longer have significant impact upon child’s development.

The decision to discharge to the support of all others in the child’s life will always be discussed and agreed with the child or young person, their family and other relevant professionals.

How does the team communicate with families and involve them in decision making and planning?

Families can expect clear communication from the Physiotherapist both face to face and in writing in the form of joint reports, target plans, management programmes and advice sheets.

All other professionals involved with the child including the family health visitor and GP will be provided with copies of any written information.

Families will be fully involved and contribute to all decision making and planning for the child:

  • The Physiotherapy Team fully respects the family’s detailed knowledge of their child.
  • There is multidisciplinary collation of information about the child’s skills and areas of need in order to plan the appropriate support.
  • Families are fully involved and participate in the assessment and development of a management plan for their child.
  • The child’s management plan contains clear, measurable and meaningful goals and expected outcomes for the child and that these are fully discussed and explained.
  • The goals set are linked to other strategies that are important to the child and family.
  • Tailored coaching with advice and strategies for developing the child’s skills in everyday life is regularly offered. This may be in clinic or in the educational setting or at home or a combination of all to best suit the child and family’s needs.
  • Staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care Plans where appropriate.
  • Families can expect signposting to other agencies and services where appropriate and when they consent to this support.
  • Appropriate support and explanation is provided to families for equipment where additionally required.
  • A joined up approach is taken in working in a holistic manner with families.
  • Reviews of the child’s progress enable families to discuss their child’s progress and any areas of concern they may have.

Where required, interpreters can be made available on request.

We value what you say

We routinely ask for feedback from you to see how we are doing. This may be a request for verbal feedback, or we will ask you to complete an anonymous feedback form.

Families are also requested to complete Talk to Us Forms at various stages of involvement:


This information will be treated confidentially, and may be used by the team in order to improve our service.

Is the Physiotherapy service fully accessible?

All buildings used by the team are fully accessible and contain appropriate facilities for families and children with additional needs.

What training do the team members have?

All the staff working within the Physiotherapy Service are DBS checked and have the appropriate professional qualifications.

The team have specialist clinical staff who ensure the quality of therapy management and all staff are compliant with a range of mandatory training as well as participating in required continual professional development work in the form of ongoing reflective clinical practice, training and research as appropriate.

Who can I contact for further information?

In the first instance families who have concerns about their child’s development can contact their family health visitor or GP or discuss their concerns with their consultant paediatrician if they have one.  Families of children attending educational settings can also seek advice and support from these staff.

This may then generate a referral to the Physiotherapy Service for further assessment, support, advice and appropriate management.

Further concerns

Our Patient Services is a point of contact for families seeking advice or information about services or to raise issues or concerns. You can contact the team on 0800 587 0562.

Information sharing

In order to offer integrated, high quality services for children, all of our Childrens Services work closely with preschools, nurseries and schools.

We share information about the outcomes of assessments and the strategies recommended in order that preschools, nurseries and schools implement the same strategies on a daily basis.

We also inform preschools, nurseries and schools when a parent does not attend an appointment.

This will greatly help your child, but it you do not wish information to be shared you may withdraw your consent at any time.

Other support organisations

Association of Paediatric chartered Physiotherapists Website
Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust Website
Asthma UK Website
Cerebral Palsy / SCOPE Website
Muscular Dystrophy Website
Dyspraxia Association Website

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