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Paediatric physiotherapists

A paediatric physiotherapist are specialists trained to assess and support the development of babies and children across a wide range of conditions such as orthopaedic conditions, rheumatology and hypermobility.

What’s a paediatric physiotherapist?

A paediatric physiotherapist is a fully qualified physiotherapist who has chosen to specialise in treatment and care of children from newborns up to adulthood (as this age varies from situation to situation).

Paediatric physiotherapists work in a variety of NHS and private settings.

What training and accreditation do Peppy’s paediatric physiotherapists have?

To legally practice as a physiotherapist in the UK you have to be registered by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). This is the regulator that sets education and professional standards.

At Peppy we only work with paediatric physiotherapists who are, in addition, members of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists (APCP) and have been referred by their peers as having a considerable experience and expertise in paediatrics. The APCP is a UK-based professional network affiliated to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. There are no formal postgraduate certificates/ diplomas to specialise in paediatrics, but many physiotherapists will choose to specialise through their choice of roles and continuous professional education and development.

Paediatric physiotherapists, like all physiotherapists, work within HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics and are required to provide evidence of continuous professional development, in order to maintain their registration to practice.

To be on the Peppy platform, we require practitioners to provide proof of ID, current HCPC registration, current APCP membership, enhanced DBS check and current professional indemnity insurance. As there are no formal training requirements to be a paediatric physiotherapist, we also ask for them to have a minimum of 2 years’ paediatric experience post qualification and either a referral from their peers within the APCP community or significant NHS experience in paediatric physiotherapy.

Why should I work with a paediatric physiotherapist?

Paediatric physiotherapists specialise in (i) assessment and support for development for babies and children, including newborns and pre-term babies, and (ii) treatment and care for babies/children with:

– Orthopaedic conditions, rheumatology and hypermobility

– Acute and chronic respiratory conditions

– Long-term conditions that can affect their nervous system e.g. cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and spinal injury

– Acquired and genetic conditions that affect the function of muscles, either directly as a muscle disease or by affecting the nerves, e.g. muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy, congenital myopathies, hereditary neuropathies and congenital myasthenic syndromes

What’s the difference between a paediatric physiotherapist and a ‘standard’ physiotherapist?

Any registered physiotherapist meets the high educational and professional standards that are regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council. They are qualified to treat people with a wide range of conditions and all ages. Their code of conduct requires them to practice within the scope of areas where they have appropriate knowledge and skills, and refer to another practitioner if the care, treatment or other services needed are beyond the scope of their practice.

However, a paediatric physiotherapist has chosen to specialise in this field and invested the time to develop an extra level of expertise. They will spend the majority of their practice focusing on babies, children and adolescents. Within this, they may have further specific expertise, such as neurodevelopmental issues or musculoskeletal issues.

‘Paediatric physiotherapist’ is not a protected title so it is important to check credentials before engaging a therapist. This is the unique service that Peppy carries out in advance for you.

There are lots of professionals who can help you care for your child’s physical health and wellbeing. The most important thing is that you get the treatment and care that is most appropriate to the needs of your family members.

Can you share other useful resources?

Yes, the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists has developed some useful leaflets for parents to support their baby’s development:

Promoting Physical Development: Lying to sitting

Baby Walkers – Are they necessary?

The NHS website provides an overview of physiotherapy.

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