Providing physiotherapy support for children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) through this pandemic is a national priority.
Currently, pressure on services is high, particularly due to staff redeployment to other priority areas.
How services for children and young people may respond will vary in different contexts and localities.
What you should consider
To help you in your role, you must consider the following:
- Legislative changes/guidance to the relevant SEN education process in your country and local area (see appropriate country tab).
- Safeguarding laws and policies, which remain in force
- Undertaking risk assessments to prioritise support for the most vulnerable children and young people.
- Your legal and regulatory requirements as a physiotherapist e.g. you have a duty of care to ensure your families/carers are able to seek advice about their child’s therapy needs, even if you personally are unavailable.
- Any national or CSP guidance that may inform your decision making e.g. NHSE Prioritisation within community health services, CSP face-to-face or remote consultations, being aware this is reviewed regularly.
What services for children and young people with SEND need to do
Services should continue to:
- Communicate regularly and clearly with families, based on need and risk assessment.
- Work with families within usual multidisciplinary teams, including education colleagues, to ensure a coordinated approach and optimal utilisation of resources
- Make best efforts to provide the care detailed on the child or young person’s EHC plan/Statement/Coordinated support plan as far as possible and where this must deviate due to Coronavirus, this should be documented.
- Document decision-making processes as per usual record-keeping standards
Services should consider how best to support their families and carers through:
- Remote consultations using digital options such as phone and video. This has been successfully rolled out by many services across the UK. See CSP guidance on remote delivery options
- Alternative service delivery e.g. utilising other healthcare professionals (principles discussed in CSP guidance on teaching and training carers)
This list is not exhaustive but is intended as a brief guide of areas services should consider. Further advice on a range of topics is available on the CSP’s Coronavirus Information Hub.
- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure: Community health services
- NHSE/I Coronavirus guidance hub for clinicians and NHS managers (links here for infection control in different contexts)
- COVID-19 personal protective equipment guidance (PPE)
- NHSE/I Specialty guide - children
- NHSE/I - Mental health, learning disabilities and autism
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers
- Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19 outbreak)