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Occupational therapy (paediatric) - Harrow

The Paediatric occupational therapy team are part of one of the largest paediatric therapy teams in North West London, providing services for the community in Harrow. All of our occupational therapists are registered with The British Association of Occupational Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Our therapists aim to provide a high quality, needs-led service to children and young people to maximise their participation and independence in daily life. This  includes self-care, play, leisure and productivity within the child/young person's nursery, school and further education settings. Developing good partnerships with the child/young person, their parents or carers and staff working with the child/young person is essential. We also work in closely  with other professionals from health, education and social care.

Our services

We offer services to children and young people aged from birth to 19 years, who meet our service criteria, and who live in Harrow. Our service covers three teams:

  • Pre-school
  • Mainstream schools
  • Special schools

We also offer specialised clinics for developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) and rheumatology.

The children referred to our service will be experiencing difficulties in one or more of the following functional areas:

  • Activities of daily living: feeding, washing, dressing, grooming, toileting
  • Productivity: play, leisure, access to the school curriculum
  • Documentation: pre-writing skills, handwriting, keyboard skills
  • Tool use: scissors, ruler, cutlery use.

The service prioritises children with severe, complex or multiple impairments, and those with moderate to high levels of disability. Depending on the child’s specific needs (as identified during their assessment), intervention may include:

  • Advice and strategies for school, nursery or home, followed by review or discharge
  • Individual treatment blocks
  • Group treatment blocks
  • Training packages and consultation for educational placements.

Intervention may take place in a variety of settings, including clinic, nursery and for school aged children within the school setting.

The occupational therapist will liaise with educational settings on the most appropriate equipment and adaptations needed to enable the child to access the curriculum.  This may include loan, issue or recommendation of equipment such as splints, seating, toileting equipment and adaptive aids.

Who can you refer to our service?

The department operates an open referral system so referrals can be made by anyone where parental consent has been given. We accept completed referral forms stating the child’s needs within specific areas of function, their date of birth, address, GP and telephone number. Print and complete the referral form and send to:

Paediatric Therapy Services (Occupational)
Chaucer Unit, Level 3
Northwick Park Hospital
Watford Road
Harrow, HA1 3UJ

If further information is required prior to processing the referral, a questionnaire will be sent to school and parents/ carers and the referrer will be notified. These must be completed and returned within two weeks of receipt. 

Referral criteria

Children must present with impaired independence and/ or participation in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Self care tasks (e.g.: feeding, washing, dressing, grooming etc)
  • Tool use (e.g.: pencil, scissors, ruler etc)
  • Play/ leisure activities
  • Pre-writing skills, and/ or
  • Recording written information.

Prioritisation will be given to children with:

  • Severe, complex or multiple impairments
  • Moderate to high levels of disability
  • Requirements for special aids and equipment, and/ or
  • A recent change in circumstances that is likely to affect function
  • For children aged 8 years and above, the service is restricted to assessment and advice only, with the exception of children with a physical disability
  • For secondary school aged young people the service is restricted to those with a physical disability.

Exceptions

There is currently no provision for service for children who:

  • Are school aged with impairments that are commensurate with their global development
  • Require school-based services but attend an out of area school.
  • The period of rehab is assessed and determined by the treating physiotherapist.

Further education service

Our transition services gives  support and guidance for young people with physical difficulties and/ or learning difficulties, who are soon to become adults. This enables them to develop their independence, understand their health needs and how to access the adult services.

Input can include provision of equipment, stretch and exercise programmes, hands-on treatment, liaison with parents, teachers, school SENCOs, Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and medical staff where appropriate. Physiotherapists work with children in both individual and group sessions with the focus on gross motor skills and improving function. These sessions may involve  working with other therapies or medical professionals.

Physiotherapy aims to be holistic in its approach and part of a multi-disciplinary team and therefore provide care in conjunction with speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.

How to refer:

If you feel you child would benefit from physiotherapy  you can request a referral through you GP, paediatrician or your child’s school can have them referred directly.

*Please note that physiotherapy services do not operate an open referral system, therefore we do not accept referrals from parents.

Services for bilingual children: Where a therapist does not speak the family's first language, an interpreter will be present to help with assessment, support and advice.

Useful links 

Harrow Parent Partnership
 
Parent Partnership Services (PPS) offer advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs. They are free, impartial and confidential services.

Contact a Family 
An organisation which provides information and support to families needing extra help because of their child's disability or medical condition.
Tel: 0808 808 3555

Making Contact 
A service from Contact a Family linking together families with disabled children.

Scope Charity UK 
A charity providing disability information, support and services.
Tel: 0808 800 3333

Hemi Help 
HemiHelp is a charity providing support and information to people with hemiplegia and their families in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Harrow Association of Disabled People (HAD)  
HAD offer a range of advocacy support through three distinct advocacy services, two of which are provided by a partnership led by HAD. 

National Autistic Society 
The leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families.

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign 
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the leading UK charity focusing on muscular dystrophy and other related conditions.  

College of Occupational Therapy 
British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.

The team is based in Chaucer Unit, on Level 3 of the main ward block at Northwick Park Hospital.

We work in partnerships with the children, their parents or carers, other health, education, and social services professionals and voluntary bodies. Intervention is carried out in the following settings:

  • Alexandra Avenue Health and Social Care Centre
  • Northwick Park Hospital - Chaucer Unit
  • Harrow Schools - Primary and Secondary
  • Harrow nurseries and children centres.

If you have any direct queries or comments please call 020 8869 3010.

The team is made up of:

Maria Luscombe
, Head of Paediatric Therapy Services

Samantha Old, Lead of Paediatric Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
 

Beth Smart, Principal Occupational Therapist
         
 

Who can you refer to our service?

The department operates an open referral system so referrals can be made by anyone where parental consent has been given. We accept completed referral forms stating the child’s needs within specific areas of function, their date of birth, address, GP and telephone number. Print and complete the referral form and send to:

Paediatric Therapy Services (Occupational)
Chaucer Unit, Level 3
Northwick Park Hospital
Watford Road
Harrow, HA1 3UJ

If further information is required prior to processing the referral, a questionnaire will be sent to school and parents/ carers and the referrer will be notified. These must be completed and returned within two weeks of receipt. 

Referral criteria

Children must present with impaired independence and/ or participation in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Self care tasks (e.g.: feeding, washing, dressing, grooming etc)
  • Tool use (e.g.: pencil, scissors, ruler etc)
  • Play/ leisure activities
  • Pre-writing skills, and/ or
  • Recording written information.

Prioritisation will be given to children with:

  • Severe, complex or multiple impairments
  • Moderate to high levels of disability
  • Requirements for special aids and equipment, and/ or
  • A recent change in circumstances that is likely to affect function
  • For children aged 8 years and above, the service is restricted to assessment and advice only, with the exception of children with a physical disability
  • For secondary school aged young people the service is restricted to those with a physical disability.

Exceptions

There is currently no provision for service for children who:

  • Are school aged with impairments that are commensurate with their global development
  • Require school-based services but attend an out of area school.   

Further education service

Our transition services gives  support and guidance for young people with physical difficulties and/ or learning difficulties, who are soon to become adults. This enables them to develop their independence, understand their health needs and how to access the adult services.

Input can include provision of equipment, stretch and exercise programmes, hands-on treatment, liaison with parents, teachers, school SENCOs, Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and medical staff where appropriate. Occupational Therapists work with children in both individual and group sessions with the focus on maximising independence and function. These sessions may involve  working with other therapies or medical professionals.

 Occupational Therapy aims to be holistic in its approach and part of a multi-disciplinary team and therefore provide care in conjunction with speech and language therapy and physiotherapy.

 

 

Services for bilingual children: Where a therapist does not speak the family's first language, an interpreter will be present to help with assessment, support and advice.