Physios team up with OTs to run summer camp for hemiplegic children

Physiotherapists in west London are collaborating with occupational therapists to provide a ‘summer camp’ of exercise classes for children with hemiplegia and diplegia.

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Senior paediatric physio Sally Jackson helps the children exercise

Group sessions have been organised by the children’s therapy team at St John's Health Centre in Twickenham, part of Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

The scheme includes a land-based class and a hydrotherapy class, and is running over a two-week period during the summer holidays.

Each session lasts an hour and half and two groups are available, one for children under seven and one for those above this age.

Innovation

Paediatric physiotherapist Monica Samuel told Frontline: ‘It's a new innovation for us trying to capture these kids in a group and help them progress their skills over five days.

‘And it is a good way of managing the extra pressures we have over holidays to treat our patients while they aren’t at school.’

The project also provides a chance to work jointly with parents and allow them to share experiences with each other, she said.

And she added that working in a group provided the children with an opportunity for social interaction, which can have psychological benefits.

Pilates

The occupational therapists are providing children with constraint therapy, which aims to improve hand or arm use by physically constraining the less affected hand or arm. The physios are incorporating a story-led Pilates session into the exercises classes.

‘This project has given us a given us a chance to develop teams skills and practice interdisciplinary working,’ said Ms Samuel.

‘And an observational student has attended too, so hopefully it has helped shape her view of physiotherapy and will encourage her to have a future in the profession.’

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by Robert Millett

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