Our children’s occupational therapy and physiotherapy teams provide a specialist service to children and young people in Derby and Southern Derbyshire who experience difficulties with movement and with daily activities at home and school.

Paediatric occupational therapists help children and young people to live life their way.

Occupational therapists can suggest alternative ways of doing activities, providing advice on learning new approaches and helping children and young people to get the most from life. For example, an occupational therapist can help with the following activities: 

Self care Getting dressed, using the toilet, preparing and eating meals
Productivity Participating in school work, going to work, volunteering, studying, or caring for others
Leisure Playing sports, going out with friends, doing hobbies


If you would like more information about Occupational Therapy with children, visit the website of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Physiotherapy aims to help and treat children and young people with physical problems as well as providing support to their families and carers.

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

Following an assessment, physiotherapy programmes are devised in collaboration with both the child/young person and their family/carer. Treatment is incorporated into simple everyday activities. Advice and training are provided so that the family can help and encourage the child to practise their physiotherapy programmes.

We work with the child/young person, their family and Health and Educational colleagues to encourage each child to get the most out of their life and fully develop their potential, from birth to the time they transition to adult services.

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

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

Both qualified Physiotherapists (PTs) and Technical Instructors work within the service.  Initial assessments are always carried out by a qualified PT.  You may receive further assessment and intervention by a PT or Technical Instructor depending on your need. 

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

What support can you offer?

Following assessment and analysis, our teams will offer support by:

  • Improving physical abilities through developing gross motor skills (larger movements like rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping and climbing) and fine motor skills (upper limb and hand skills such as dressing, eating and handwriting skills)

  • Working closely with parents, teachers and other carers, and providing appropriate support
  • Advising on and arranging for a range of equipment or specialist aids. These will help your child/young person to complete tasks more easily and become more independent.

Learn more about the services provided by the teams by clicking on the drop-down accordions below.

Early years

The Early Years team is based at the Ronnie Mackeith Centre at Royal Derby Hospital. Team members see children from nought to four years old (or when they go into a permanent educational placement). 

For appointments at the Ronnie Mackeith Centre, please allow plenty of time for parking as queues are likely. 

School-aged children

For children that are in permanent education the team works in geographical patches and will see children from 0-19 years, as long as they are in full-time education.  

Referrals to the service

Find details about the referral process on our referrals page

Early years 

The Early Years team is based at the Ronnie Mackeith Centre at Royal Derby Hospital. Team members see children from nought to two years old.  

For appointments at the Ronnie Mackeith Centre, please allow plenty of time for parking as queues are likely. 


For children and young people from two to 16 years old. Young people can be transferred to the Young Adult Team who support those aged 16 – 25 years. 

Special schools 

For children and young people from two to 19 years old. Children and young people in special schools will transfer to the adult Learning Disability team (from the age of 18).  

Referrals to the service

Find details about the referral process on our referrals page

The Young Adults team works with young people from the age of 14 to 16 years old who require further physiotherapy and occupational therapy input and support up to the age of 25.

This service is provided to bridge the gap between paediatric and adult services. Our aim is to support you as much as possible throughout your time in the service to promote independence and self-management of your disability. 

How will you support me?

The team will…

  • Work with you to help you to achieve the lifestyle you want by encouraging self-management of your health needs.
  • Help to maintain and improve your physical abilities with an exercise programme.
  • Help you to access leisure and sports facilities.
  • To support you into work and through higher education/university.
  • Help you recover after surgery.
  • Advise on any independence equipment or daily living equipment necessary to help you to become independent or support your carers.
  • Liaise with and refer to other professionals and agencies to ensure you receive appropriate support/treatment, such as referrals to orthotics, wheelchair services or Derby Drivability.

 How do you work?

  • We are a community based service covering Derby City and South Derbyshire.
  • We offer clinic appointments at Royal Derby Hospital / London Road Community Hospital and community health centres.
  • Working as part of a team, we will assess you and provide you with advice and/or treatment to meet your therapy goals.
  • We work closely with other services that support and advise you in all areas of your lifestyle including accommodation, independent living, leisure, education and work.                            
Transition into the Young Adults service  

If you are being supported by the paediatric therapy team and attend a mainstream school, discussions will begin when you are 14 about what further services you need after leaving school. The transition into the Young Adults team is a gradual process involving joint working between therapists until you are 16 years old. At the age of 16, your care will transfer over to the Young Adult Team, who will continue to support you until you are 25 years old.

Referrals into the service

Please click link below to refer to the Young Adult Team

Referral Page

How can I support the work of my therapist?

After assessment, your therapist will agree a joint plan of therapy with you. They will enter into a joint therapy agreement which defines the roles of the therapist, parents and school.  Family members 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.

We also have a set of online videos and resources designed to help parents understand and develop sensory strategies to support their child. Please telephone our administration team on 0300 123 4586 (option 2 then option 5) for more information on how to access these videos and resources.

Which other professional groups do you work with? 

We may work with...

  • Acute hospital physiotherapy and occupational therapy services
  • Education staff
  • Short breaks services
  • Social care occupational therapists 
  • Social care staff including social workers and family support workers
  • Specialist health visitors
  • Speech therapists
  • Orthopaedic surgeons
  • Paediatricians and GPs
  • Voluntary sector staff working with your child
  • Wheelchair services
  • Leisure services 


Information about you and your child/young person is treated in a strictly confidential manner.

It is good practice to discuss the clinical needs of your child/young person and share information with other appropriateinvolved professionals. In this way we can co-ordinate care to offer the best service to your child/young person and you.

You will be asked to sign a consent form for the sharing of information where you can identify those you do and do not wish us to share information with. This will be completed before any therapy commences.

Follow us on Facebook

To keep up to date with Physiotherapy news & events, follow DHCFT 0-25 Physiotherapy on Facebook.

Sensory training videos for parents and carers

Sensory training videos

SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Here you will find information about the services available for your child or young person with a Special Educational Need or Disability SEND.

Derby City Information

Derby SEND Local Offer

Derby SEND About The Local Offer

Derby City SEND Services

Derby SENDIASS  Information, Advice and Support Service

Derbyshire County Information

Derbyshire SEND Local Offer

Derbyshire SENDIASS Information, Advice and Support Service

Derbyshire multi-agency sensory processing needs toolkit

Leaflets from the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP) 

The APCP provides direction and resources for paediatric physiotherapists and families who work with children, enabling full participation in life. The APCP supports paediatric physiotherapists to deliver evidence-based care so all children and young people can achieve their potential.

CP Teens UK

'Hope, help, inspiration and friendship' for children, young people and beyond with Cerebral Palsy and similar physical disabilities.


Medequip Community Equipment Service


Medequip runs integrated community loan stores which provide profiling beds, mattresses, hoists, toileting aids, commodes, support rails, grab rails, mobility equipment and more.

Please speak to your Occupational Therapist and/or Physiotherapist regarding equipment needs. They will be happy to give you advice and support regarding appropriate equipment for you, or your child/young person.

What to do if you have equipment that’s no longer needed

Please discuss this with your therapist to determine the reasons the equipment is no longer needed. If you did not purchase your equipment and it is on loan to you, it must not be sold or disposed of.  When you no longer require the equipment that is on loan, please contact Medequip to request free collection.  Alternatively you may drop off the equipment at the equipment store if you are able to.

Medequip contact for Derby City patients:

Medequip, Haydock Park Unit 2, Haydock Park Road, Derby  DE24 8HT

Telephone:  01773 604426    Email:  derbycity@medequip-uk.com

Medequip contact for Derbyshire patients:

Medequip Alfreton (Derbyshire), Medequip Assistive Technology Unit 3, Wimsey Way, Alfreton DE55 4LS

Telephone:  01773 604426    Email:  derbycustomerservice@medequip-uk.com


Transporting Children with Additional Needs

Child car seats

Transport with additional needs leaflet




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