Therapy and health services

Most healthcare services can help children and young people with a disability, but sometimes extra support is needed.

To receive this support, parents or carers can ask for additional or complex support.

Additional support

Additional support is often referred to as a 'targeted health service'.

Targeted health services support is available to those with more complex needs. The support is often on a short term basis, and is provided through an assessment or referral via your GP, dentist, child’s school, health visitor, school nurse or social worker.

Types of targeted health services

The Community Paediatrics Service are a team of consultant paediatricians, specialist nurses and administrators who investigate, diagnose and help children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as:

They can provide useful resources and can contribute towards your education, health and care (EHC) plans.

The Community Paediatrics Service also provide expertise in safeguarding, child protection and looked after children (LAC).

Referral and additional help

To refer your child or young person, you should contact your local community NHS trust.

If they has been referred to the service and are waiting for an appointment, you may find it useful to follow guidance on the community NHS trust websites to support their condition or difficulty.

Contact your local community NHS trust:

The Kent and Medway Wheelchair Service ensure occupational therapists and physiotherapists can assess and provide you with a wheelchair quick and efficiently. If you have more complex needs they can find the best wheelchair to suit these.

Once you have been referred to them by a qualified healthcare professional, you will be given an appointment with a member of our clinical team who will prioritise your needs and requirements.

Learn more about the Kent and Medway Wheelchair Service.

Occupational therapists support children and young people to:

  • learn skills for an independent happy and fulfilling life
  • reach their goals
  • be a part of their local community.

They aim to help children and young people to do the things they want to do in their life.

Referral and additional help

You can speak to a GP about a referral or pay for a visit privately.

Contact your local community NHS trust:

Paediatric physiotherapists help babies, children and young people.

They will support them to:

  • develop their gross motor skills (for example walking, jumping)
  • be more independent
  • participate in and enjoy life.

Physiotherapists will also listen to what matters to you and your family. They will:

  • discuss any concerns and work together to work out if and how physiotherapy can help
  • work together with others to support your child or young person's health and wellbeing
  • work in the most appropriate environment for your family.

Physiotherapists can help with a wide range of conditions, motor development and acute illness and injury.

Referral and additional help

To refer your child or young person to a paediatric physiotherapist, you should contact your local community NHS trust.

If they have been referred to the service and are waiting for an appointment, you may find it useful to follow guidance on the community NHS trust websites to support their condition or difficulty.

Contact your local community NHS trust:

Speech and language therapy assess and support children and young people with daily communication difficulties, including:

  • children with a cleft lip and/or palate
  • feeding difficulties
  • Developmental Language Disorder
  • Dyspraxia
  • selective communicators.

The Speech and Language Therapy Team can offer advice and information to families, nurseries and schools.

Referral and additional help

To refer your child or young person to a Speech and Language Therapist, you should contact your local community NHS trust.

Contact your local community NHS trust:

Our specialist teachers are experienced teachers with a qualification in one or more areas of SEND. They work with the other professionals who are in contact with the child and their family to help that child or young person to achieve their learning goals.

Learn more about  the Specialist Teaching and Learning Services (STLS).

Complex support

Complex support is often referred to as a 'specialist service'.

To get support from specialist services, your child or young person’s disability must be permanent, substantial and impact their ability to do daily activities and impact their family’s wellbeing.

A specialist service provides support to parents and carers if they cannot give their child all the care they need. This could be due to:

Your child or young person's GP, dentist, child’s school, health visitor, school nurse or social worker can refer them directly.

Types of specialist health services

Children and Young People's Therapy Services offer therapy and health services for children and young people requiring complex intervention from 0 to 19 years, who have difficulties with:

  • talking and communicating
  • eating, drinking or swallowing
  • mobility and posture
  • physical skills such as balance and coordination
  • motor (movement) skills
  • everyday activities (self-care such as getting dressed, using the toilet, preparing and eating meals).

Find out more about the Children and Young People's Therapy Services.

Community Learning Disability Team provides support to children and families who have a developmental delay or a learning disability.

They work with their partners to provide care that is centred on the individual with learning disabilities, supporting them, families and carers by signposting them to and helping them access hospitals and other mainstream services, in line with reasonable adjustments.

Learn more about the Community Learning Disability Team.

Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology Service (KMCATS) work in partnership with schools and families to provide communication and assistive technology solutions that allow children and young people to develop their independence.

Find out how KMCATS can support your child or young person.

Looked after Children Nursing Service are a team of specialist nurses who support the health needs of looked after children, their carers and those leaving care up to the age of 18.

They make sure the health needs of looked after children are met by undertaking review health assessments and delivering packages of care.

They also work closely with the other professionals surrounding looked after children and can support referrals to other services as needed.

Learn more about the Looked after Children Nursing Service.

NHS Continuing Healthcare Service is for children and young people, up to 18 years, who require extra health support due to needs from a disability, accident or illness that cannot be met by existing universal or specialist services alone.

You can discuss a referral with your healthcare professional or GP.

Find out more about the NHS Continuing Healthcare Service.