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Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy enables people to participate in daily life to improve their health and wellbeing.

Child holding cupDaily life is made up of many activities (or occupations). Occupations for children or young people may include self-care (getting ready to go out, eating a meal, using the toilet), being productive (going to nursery or school, or volunteering), and leisure (playing with friends or doing hobbies).

The service is delivered in a range of settings which includes local mainstream and special schools, early year’s settings including Children Centres the home environment and on a clinic or hospital site. Ideally the therapist will try to see the child or young person in the environment where occupations are taking place.

Child looking at Occupation Therapy AssistantOccupational therapists will spend time finding out about the child’s and family’s typical daily life and what they want, need or are expected to do. They will then work together with the child, family and other key people to evaluate what helps or hinders their involvement in daily life roles. Together, possible solutions will be developed, such as exploring alternative ways of doing things or making changes to the environment to support participation.

For more information, please download our occupational therapy leaflet.

Levels of support

cf156.jpg1. A whole population/universal approach delivering occupational therapy, where therapists share professional knowledge and skills with educational staff and parents to improve the engagement and participation of children in a range of school and home occupations.

2. Targeted services designed to support children and young people who are at risk of reduced participation in everyday occupations, delivered via a telephone advice line, school/nursery link visits, workshops, training and occupational therapy resource packs and advise sheets.

3. Specialist occupational therapy services provided for children and young people with identified physical and developmental learning needs which impact on their participation in life roles. Use of an individualised intervention approach to teach strategies, recommendation of specialist equipment, and advice on environmental modifications, parent coaching approaches, individualised home and nursery/school occupational therapy advice, and specialist evidence based therapy delivered individually or in a group setting.

Whole population/universal approach and targeted service can be accessed at a pre referral stage; specialist occupational therapy requires a child to be referred.

Further information is available from Social Care Occupational Therapy (Surrey) and from the Royal College of Occupational Therapy in the Children and Young People leaflet and in the School leaflet

Everyday Living Skills Checklist

The Everyday Living Skills Checklist for Early years and School aged children can support SENCOS in identifying children with potential Occupational Therapy needs across all the every day occupations we address. It is recommended that the checklist is used: 

  • to gather information when calling the helpline
  • when a child is moving to SEND arrangements to identify needs (and inform earlier contact with the service and referral)
  • when a request for EHCP is being made (our caseworkers have suggested that the checklist is included in the request to assess paperwork). 

Experience of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy can transform lives.

The core purpose of Occupational Therapy for Children is to empower and enable children, young people and their families to live their lives as independently and easily as possible.  We work in partnership with families and school as part of the therapy partnership model to achieve this.

Watch the video of Alistair's story above.

Teams and contact details

South East Surrey

Mole Valley and Banstead Team (covering Banstead, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Dorking and Tattenham)

Tel: 01372 384395 

 

Reigate and Tandridge Team (covering Reigate, Redhill, Merstham, Horley, Oxted, Caterham and Lingfield)

Tel: 01737 768 511 x 6091

Helpline

We offer practical occupational therapy advice , strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills
Occupational Therapy Helpline: open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm - 4pm.
Tel: 07974 230 554

 

North East Surrey (covering Spelthorne, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell boroughs)

Tel: 01932 826500

Helpline

We offer practical occupational therapy advice , strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills
Occupational Therapy Helpline: open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm - 4pm.
Tel: 07974 230 554

 

North West Surrey (covering Woking, Rynnymede and Surrey Health boroughs)

Tel: 01932 826 500

Helpline

We offer practical occupational therapy advice , strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills
Occupational Therapy Helpline: open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm - 4pm.
Tel: 07974 230 554

 

South West Surrey (covering Guildford and Waverley boroughs)

Tel: 01483 783 148

Helpline

We offer practical occupational therapy advice , strategies and support to schools, parents/carers and other professionals in relation to a child’s/young person’s functional and independence skills
Occupational Therapy Helpline: open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm - 4pm.
Tel: 07974 230 554

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For further information

  • To follow up a referral

For example, for developmental paediatrics or therapy services such as speech and language therapy. Contact the One Stop referral centre (tel: 0300 222 5755, Option 2) and they will be able to advise.

  • For advice or questions about your child's health

​Contact your local Health Visiting team or call the Advice Line

  • 2 year development checks

​Contact your local Health Visiting team or call the Advice Line 

  • Referrals for ASD, ADHD or another neurological/developmental condition

Your GP will need to make a referral. Visit the Developmental Paediatrician service page for more information about these services in Surrey.

  • Access to mental health services

Your GP needs to refer your child via MINDSIGHT Surrey CAMHS

  • Hearing concerns

Contact the Audiology service 

  • Concerns or complaints about a Children and Family  Health Surrey service

Go to https://childrenshealthsurrey.nhs.uk/feedback to read about our approach and who to contact. You can also email the Patient Experience Team directly using csh.patientexperience@nhs.net 

If your query is not covered by the routes above, please use the form below to contact us.  Your query will be passed to the relevant team who will aim to respond within 7 working days.