Services for Children and Families
At a time when we are finding new ways to educate and support our children, it is more important than ever before that any barriers to their learning, play or independence are minimised.
Through embracing technology The OT Practice are now able to offer a significant number of OT and SLT services to children and families remotely both in the UK and internationally.
Where a child has been receiving on going therapy, it is important to avoid any deterioration or regression that may result from a significant period without therapeutic input. The need for therapeutic consistency and continued support for the child and their family in these current times should be a consideration.
For children who are in need of an assessment, we are temporarily using a remote model to ensure that parents and children can access timely support. All of our remote services are available to access for children through parents, schools, charities, NHS trusts, local education authorities and legal practices.
Services we are delivering remotely
These are examples of services we are delivering remotely. Please give the team a call to discuss any specific needs.
Video & telephonic assessments – OT & SLT
By using the latest technology platforms we can deliver assessments to children and their families remotely. Our team can provide assessments for a wide variety of challenges including handwriting, gross and fine motor skills, behaviour and sensory needs. The OT will complete a risk assessment to ensure clinical suitability for a remote assessment.
Remote treatment programmes – OT & SLT
Treatment programmes can be delivered remotely to the client via video meetings. The OT will support the family with practical home based strategies utilising items found in their home and will provide therapeutic support remotely at agreed times. As a community based practice, our OTs don't have a dependency on a clinic setting and are skilled at ensuring children can work towards independence, increasing self confidence and self esteem in their home environment.
Home schooling children over the coming weeks and months is likely to bring to the forefront of parents minds some of the challenges their child maybe having in meeting their potential with their school work. During this time of increased restriction, we are offering a parent consultation either with an occupational therapist or a speech and language therapist who specialises in paediatrics to offer immediate advice and practical strategies. This session will last up to an hour and will be followed by a short written summary. The sessions are available with no waiting lists and often on the same day of referral. Please note these are not full assessments and we may well advise that a full assessment package is required following the consultation.
Support for schools – OT & SLT
Schools are having to adapt to alternative models of delivery. We can support any school throughout the UK and internationally where they have children with therapy needs. This might include occupational therapy or speech and language therapy. We can provide consultations, assessments and treatment programmes as well as supporting parents in the implementation of practical strategies and approaches to ensure any therapeutic gains are not lost and children are fully prepared for their return to school in the future.
Children with complex needs
We welcome referrals from public sector bodies and case managers who are looking after children with more complex needs at this time. They may be eligible for a face to face visit in their home environment if they meet the criteria for our essential services in the community. Here you can find out more about our Essential services in the community.
Video and telephonic assessments for EHCPs - OT & SLT
Where it is clinically appropriate, we are able to offer EHCP assessments remotely. Through liaison with school staff, parents and a wider MDT, followed by an assessment of the child themselves if appropraite, we will produce a robust EHCP report. We would recommend a follow up face to face visit once restrictions have lifted to review the report and ensure any additional findings are captured.
Delivery and continuation of EHCP approved therapy – OT & SLT
Moving to remote treatment programmes are particularly beneficial for children who already have a treatment programme in place through an EHCP. We are able to support parents who are concerned over a break in provision and NHS teams to ensure that there is no gap in a children’s provision whilst their own staff maybe diverted to more front line services.
The step by step process
This may vary depending on the number of children being referred, please discuss this with the team when you enquire particularly NHS trusts and LEA’s.
- Call or email the office team as normal to discuss the clinical needs of the child you would like the refer and request an online assessment quote. The team will personalise this depending on the requirements such as a consultation, on going treatment or a new assessment.
- Complete the referral form we send you.
- We will contact the parent / carer for an initial screening call. In this call we will complete a risk assessment to ensure the child and / or family will be able to engage with a remote assessment either telephonically or via video conference (using Zoom).
- If during the call the OT feels it is clinically appropriate to proceed with a remote assessment, we will arrange a mutually agreed assessment time for this to take place. The OT will then provide details for the assessment and any preparation tasks they need to complete.
- The assessment will occur via the pre agreed method (telephone or video conference) and the report will be sent to you within 7 days.
We recognise that some families will have an existing level of technical knowledge and remote service set up will be relatively straightforward. However for others it will be less familiar and require time and support from us, both for set up and the acclimatisation, before we are in a position to maximise any therapeutic benefit. This is part of our role and there are a variety of tools and techniques available to us to ensure the success of remotely delivered intervention. To find out more about how we conduct remote assessments and input see our OT Practice Online page.
Through the remote model, the timeframe between referral and assessment can be significantly reduced, offering clients more immediate access to therapeutic support. The assessments will be broken down into the initial screening call and the online assessment as detailed above with the initial call happening as soon as possible following referral. It is important to have time between the initial call and the assessment to allow the family to prepare, this typically would be no more than 2 working days.
We are offering assessments and interventions remotely, as the referrer you will still receive all documents that we would normally provide had the sessions been face to face. These include an assessment report, quotes to implement recommendations and in the case of on going treatment programmes, progress reports and monthly invoices.
During this time we recognise that everybody is likely to have a heighted sense of anxiety and the safeguarding of children remains our priority.