Children's Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Team - Salford Community

We provide a safe, high quality Specialist Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy service which aims to empower children and young people of Salford to reach their full potential. Our team’s friendly, child and family centred approach allows us to provide the knowledge and skills that are relevant to a child or young person to help them to achieve their functional goals.  

Physiotherapy helps children who are affected by disability, illness or injury through the promotion of movement skill development and independence.  We do this by assessing a child’s needs and abilities and providing the knowledge and skills required to help a child reach their full potential.

Occupational Therapy provides a range of interventions for children and young people who, as a result of an acute or developmental condition and/or lifelong disability, may experience functional difficulties in taking care of themselves or taking part in school-based or leisure activities. An Occupational Therapist may also recommend specialist equipment to help your child to achieve their full potential.  

Within our Core Therapy Team we provide a Neurodevelopmental service and a Musculoskeletal service. We also have a Team of Occupational Therapists who provide an enhanced therapy service.

Neurodevelopmental service

We provide a specialist service to all children and young people 0-16 years (0-19 in full time education or special school) who are registered with a Salford GP or who live in Salford. Dependent on the information provided at referral you will either see a Physiotherapist, an Occupational Therapist or both.  The initial assessment will be arranged in the most appropriate environment for the child and where the appropriate assessments can take place. 


We support children and young people who present with functional difficulties with movement, posture or skill development. We work with children and their families to develop the child’s movement skills, encourage independence, and promote health and wellbeing. We have a particular focus on a child’s gross motor skills (large body movements such as crawling or jumping) and postural stability. Postural stability optimises the central support a child has particularly around the middle of their body known as the trunk and pelvis.

Occupational Therapy

We support children and young people who present functional difficulties impacting on their participation in everyday daily living activities (also known as occupations). We will work with children and their families to encourage independence or maximise the child’s participation in activities that are important to them and to promote their health and wellbeing.  We have a particular focus on a child’s fine motor and motor co-ordination skills. Fine motor skills are the ability to control the smaller movement of the hands, fingers, and thumb. Motor co-ordination skills aid the body to use multiple body parts to complete an action such as catching a ball or riding a bicycle. We also focus on a child’s postural care needs to aid body alignment and a stable base to enable the performance of functional tasks.

Within our Core Therapy Team we provide a Neurodevelopmental service and a Musculoskeletal service. We also have a Team of Occupational Therapists who provide an enhanced therapy service.

Musculoskeletal service

We provide physiotherapy assessment and management of musculoskeletal conditions such as those relating to muscles, joints, bones, ligaments and tendons and pain related to a child’s biomechanics (the way we move). We can help a child to manage symptoms and maximise independence through promoting joint range of movement, muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

We mainly work in clinics across Salford or virtually through video technology. Depending on a child’s needs we can visit them at home, in nursery or in school (mainstream and special school) as well. 

Clinics are based at Swinton gateway or Pendleton gateway. There are Salford council operated pay and display carparks at both locations. 
We request that a child is dressed appropriately for their appointment or we may not be able to carry out a full assessment. Please wear vests style top for upper body assessment, shorts that allow movement at the hip joints for lower body assessments and swimming costumes for hydrotherapy sessions. We also require bare feet at times during Physiotherapy assessments. 

All children are assessed for their abilities and this helps to guide a child’s therapy intervention and ensure it is personal to their needs. Therapy assessments may include:

  • Posture and balance
  • Motor development
  • Joint range of movement and muscle strength
  • Co-ordination and movement quality
  • Functional ability
  • Environmental assessments

Once an assessment is complete the therapist will discuss the findings with the child and their relevant adult/s and agree what we all want the child to gain from therapy (goals to work toward). A treatment plan will then be developed based on up to date evidence and research. This may consist of:

  • Advice and activities or exercises parents/ guardians can practice with their child. (Evidence suggests that repeating exercises at home regularly is an effective form of therapy)
  • Signposting to other services or resources available. 
  • A therapy programme that can be carried out and home, nursery and/or school to help develop the child or young person’s functional skills and abilities. (Training is offered to education staff to support their understanding of implementing therapy advice and programmes.) 
  • Advice on different techniques or ways of doing activities. 
  • Individual or group therapy sessions to address specific therapy goals. 
  • Training and support to parents and education staff on management of the child’s specific conditions and how to maximise their ability to participate in activities at home and school. 
  • Advice on, or provision of specialist equipment or minor adaptations, to promote functional independence, mobility, participation in activities or to enable the parent or carers to support the young person with activities of daily living. 
  • Advice on adapting the nursery or school environment to enable the young person to access the curriculum and school buildings. 

Enhanced services

Enhanced Occupational Therapy is a commissioned service that can provide support for children and young people. The Enhanced Occupational Therapy service can provide bespoke individualised input depending on the needs of the child or young person.   

Enhanced Occupational Therapy can offer support through direct assessment and advice for children and young people with functional difficulties, including sensory processing needs. Offering the option for a holistic assessments that considers motor coordination, sensory and visual perception needs. Following individualised assessments specific advice or recommendations will be shared to target the child’s individual needs. Therapy intervention can also be commissioned.
The service can be commissioned on an individual basis or for multiple children by an individual, a school or organisation.  
Additional input can be offered to professionals or schools for bespoke training packages, in addition to those offered through the Learning Support Service.   

Enhanced Occupational Therapy input can be offered in the most appropriate settings for the individual child or young person, this may be a clinic, school or home environment.   

Learning support service

Occupational Therapists are also part of the Local Authority Learning Support service where they provide training on a variety of topics:

  • Sensory awareness and Sensory Strategies for parents of primary aged children who attend a Salford mainstream school
  • Training to education staff who work in a mainstream primary school within Salford:
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Handwriting
  • Sensory Processing and Awareness
  • Advanced Sensory training (aimed at staff supporting a pupil with possible sensory processing difficulties who require more specific training)

Clinics are based at Swinton gateway or Pendleton gateway. There are Salford council operated pay and display carparks at both locations. 

Swinton Gateway
100 Chorley Road
M27 6BP

Pendleton Gateway
1 Broadwalk
M6 5FX

Our neurodevelopmental team welcomes new referrals from anyone who has identified a child that has a need for our service. We are able to accept referrals for children and young people 0-16 years (0-19 in full time education or special school) who are registered with a Salford GP or who live in Salford. Our therapists are unable to routinely visit homes or schools outside of Salford. A clinic-based appointment can be offered as an alternative. Who can refer: 

  • Self, parent, carer
  • GP
  • Health professional
  • Education and Social Care

The more information that you can provide with the referral will allow us to understand the child’s needs and allocate them to the most appropriate part of the service. 

Many children struggle with daily activities and movement skills and may take longer to learn new skills.  Children will make more progress if they practice these activities for a short time each day, rather than one long session each week.  Some children may carry out these activities and no longer need a referral to Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy.   Therefore if you are referring a child in Early Years or Key stage one, who does not have an underlying medical diagnosis that is contributing to their difficulties in completing functional activities, then please complete this checklist and the recommended activities prior to referral. We will require evidence of a completed checklist to accept the referral. 

If you are referring a preschool child with delayed movement skills who does not display any altered muscle tone or have an underlying medical condition then it is important that they have the opportunity to practice these skills before a referral is made to Physiotherapy. GreaterSport and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have produced the leaflets below to help with early year’s movement development and school readiness. Further information can be found on the GMCA site.

Our musculoskeletal physiotherapy team accepts referrals for Children and young people from the age of 4 up to 16, who either live in Salford or who are registered with a Salford GP. This service accepts referrals from Consultants, GP’s or Healthcare Professionals. This is a clinic-based service. How to refer:

  • GP’s- via Electronic referral system to Paediatric Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
  • Or Paediatric Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
  • Parents- via phone
  • Professionals via referral form

Once we receive a referral a senior therapist will triage it to the best service for the child. This triage process is based on the information provided in the referral, so it is important we get as much relevant information as possible including up-to date contact details for a child’s next of kin.  The child will then be allocated to a specialist therapist and an appointment will either be sent out through the post or we will contact you by telephone. 

Speak up salford – all about children’s speech, language and communication

Salford home adaptations service

Wheelchair services

This NHS leaflet provided answer to common questions on lower limb concerns in children such as walking patterns.

Head turning preference and Plagiocephaly

Promoting physical development lying to sitting

Flat feet in children - this is not a concern if an arch forms when your child stands on tiptoe and usually correct themselves by the time a child is 6 years.

Intoeing gait - child’s feet turn in when walking or running. This is often from the position of the hips and usually corrects itself by the age of 8 years.  For further information on this please use the link below.

Symptomatic Hypermobility

Osgood-Schlatters Disease

Standing frames safety and maintenance

Standing frames

Why is postural management do important:

Accessibility tools

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