Our Services A-Z

Children's Physiotherapy

 The physiotherapists are part of the Integrated Children’s Additional Needs (ICAN) Service. 

We work with children and young people aged 0-19 who have difficulties or a disability which impacts upon their movement and make their daily participation in activities difficult. The children we support have a long term neurological or developmental condition.

Physiotherapists (PTs) help children and young people to improve their quality of life by promoting independence – they do this through carrying out specialist assessments to understand the child’s difficulties, and providing support to manage these. If a child or young person has learning, sensory or physical difficulties, their ability to grow, learn, socialise and play can be compromised.

Our service works with a variety of children and young people between the ages of 0-19 years who have specific difficulties with movement and/or developmental disorders.

Who is our service for?

Our service provides specialist assessment and advice to children and young people with along term neurological or developmental condition.

How will we work with you and your child?


We work with children, young people and their carers to:

  • Carry out specialist assessments
  • Manage the child or young persons condition
  • Provide individual goal orientated therapeutic intervention
  • Run postural management and treatment programmes
  • Assess and provide specialist equipment
  • Advise, train and educate parents, carers, schools and other healthcare professionals
  • Provide written reports for educational statements and school annual reviews
  • Liaise and work with other healthcare professionals and agencies
  • Provide specialist footwear and splints in joint orthotic and physiotherapy clinics

What can you expect from our service?

  • We will listen to you and your child about your concerns and what is important to you
  • We will set goals together about what you and your child want to achieve
  • We will look at the activities your child is having difficulty with
  • We will plan what will happen next to help you and your child to achieve your goals. We might help to develop your child’s skills, change the way your child does an activity or change the environment so your child can do an activity

Your child’s plan might include:

  • Strategies to use at home
  • Advice and supports to your child’s teachers
  • A group with other children
  • Further specialist assessment
  • Specialist equipment to help your child do things
  • Working on your goals with a member of the team at home or nursery / school. 

Where can you access the service?

  • The ICAN teams are based in the Child Development Centres at St George’s Centre in Middleton, Wortley Beck Health Centre and St James’s Hospital.
  • We support children and young people in nursery, school or at home 
  • All our clinic bases are wheelchair accessible with disabled toilet facilities, and baby change facilities. 
  • If you have concerns about access for yourself or your child or any other questions or concerns please contact the office prior to your child’s appointment.
  • We regularly work with interpreters who we can book for appointments if needed.

Who works in the team?

All our PTs are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC). Alongside the qualified PTs we also have physiotherapy assistants.

We have student physiotherapists working in our service for most of the year. A student therapist may be present at your appointment, but please do tell us if you would prefer not to have a student present.

Who do our PTs work with?

Physiotherapists work in close partnership with you and your child / young person to meet therapeutic goals that have been set together. 

  •  We work closely with other therapists, education staff, voluntary sector, and social care professionals to achieve the best outcome for your child/young person. Together we have a shared responsibility for meeting children’s needs.
  • We work closely with orthotists and jointly provide weekly orthotic clinics in venues throughout the City.

How do you access our service?

All children are referred into our service from a paediatrician or allied health professional. All new referrals are triaged by an experienced qualified Physiotherapist. If your child is pre school, and they have difficulties with other areas of their development, they may be referred by your paediatrician to the Child Development Team for a team assessment. If you have concerns about your pre-school child you can speak to your GP, health visitor or any other health professional involved about whether a referral to a paediatrician is appropriate.

What is our referral criteria?

We do see children and young people who:

  • Have a movement difficulty related to a neurological or developmental concern where it is interfering with everyday activities
  • Are aged 0-19
  • Live in Leeds and have a Leeds GP
  • Are referred by a paediatrician

We do not see children with:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions e.g back pain, torticollis
  • We do not provide a Physiotherapy Respiratory Service (Chest Physio)
  • We do not accept referrals directly from families unless your child has been known to physiotherapy within the past six months.  

What do we need to know about your child?

As well as the usual information about name, date of birth and address etc we need to know; how their movement skills developed, day to day functional activities that your child is struggling with; who is concerned (this may be you, your child or other professionals involved); which nursery or school your child attends; what you and your child hope to achieve with therapy.

Following triage of your child’s referral we will usually offer an appointment within eight weeks.

What hours do we work?

Our core hours are 8:30am-5pm Monday to Friday.

How long will physiotherapy stay involved with my child?

We will stay involved with your child until:

  • They have achieved their goals or the plan for working on their goals is in place.
  • You and your child no longer want to have physiotherapy input
  • Physiotherapy is not benefitting your child / young person
  • You and your child have not attended appointments or contacted the service
  • Advise is not being followed.

If you have used this service in the past, and would like to provide us with feedback as part of the NHS “Friends and Family Test” (FFT) please select one of the links below:

To access and complete the FFT click here >

To access and complete the FFT Easy read version click here >

If you are a parent carer you can access and complete the FFT by click here >

The information you provide will be used to inform how better we can deliver the service.