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Specialist Community Respiratory Physiotherapy Service for Children and Young People


Specialist Community Respiratory Physiotherapy Service for Children and Young People in Coventry (CYP) who have complex physical health needs

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Coventry Guidance  

Urgent Referrals

Specialist Community Respiratory Physiotherapy Service for Children and Young People (CYP) in Coventry

The Rapid response (24-48 hour) element of Urgent Childrens’ Respiratory Physiotherapy will be ceasing from the 1stApril 2022

Referrals will still be prioritised in relation to urgency with the only change being timescales of within 2 weeks for any urgent referrals

The Service is now a designated service for Children and Young People (CYP) who have complex physical health needs, neuro-disabilities and / or long term ventilated with associated respiratory issues who are acutely unwell with a chest infection.

Referral Criteria:

  • The CYP must be aged 0-19 years and registered with a Coventry GP
  • Is child / young person struggling to clear secretions?
  • Are they showing signs of a chest infection?
  • Do they have a poor cough and sound chesty?
  • Would they benefit from an urgent respiratory physiotherapy review?

Our aim is:

  • Reduce attendances to paediatric A&E
  • Prevent unnecessary hospital admissions
  • Reduce length of hospital stay
  • Minimise presentations to GP practices for chest infection wherever possible
  • Help keep the family together at home
  • Increase family and carer confidence in management of the CYP’s respiratory health
  • Increase attendance  at school and involvement in the community.

Contact Details:

Website: Childrens & Young People’s Physiotherapy Service in Coventry

Email childrensrespiratoryphysio@covwarkpt.nhs.uk or phone 02476 961 455 (admin)


About the Specialist Community Respiratory Physiotherapy Service

Children and Young People (CYP) with complex disabilities such as Severe Global Developmental Delay (SGDD) and Neuromuscular Disease (NMD) suffer from a high incidence of respiratory problems which are multifactorial.

This often results in lengthy hospital admissions and impacts upon quality of life and their families.

Illness and premature death occurs most frequently as a result of compromised pulmonary function and associated respiratory infections.

Increasing numbers of these CYP are being able to be managed in the community rather than in the acute setting and with an increased use of supportive technology are living longer in the community.


Who may benefit from a respiratory physiotherapy assessment and treatment?

There are many groups of children with the following conditions who will benefit from specific respiratory physiotherapy input:

  • Recurrent chest infections requiring repeated antibiotics
  • Chronic lung disease i.e. bronchiectasis.
  • Long term ventilation
  • Upper airway obstruction
  • Poor swallow, gastro oesophageal reflux and/or excessive oral secretions
  • Severe global developmental delay / Neuromuscular disease
  • Non-specific neurological problems
  • Traumatic or acquired brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury that affects their ability to take a deep breath or cough
  • Chronic cardiopulmonary disorders.
  • Skeletal deformities

Exclusion criteria

  • Stable chest conditions with no acute change/ compliance issues
  • Asthma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Patients without a respiratory condition or respiratory compromise





Click on image above for printable versions of these promotional posters

Where and how often will a respiratory physiotherapist see CYP?

Once child has been referred, a respiratory physiotherapist will do an assessment, and treatment will be carried out depending on the needs of the CYP.

The CYP may be seen in a variety of settings i.e. at home, clinic, school/nursery or respite centre.

Other professionals such as children’s community nurse, physiotherapist or speech and language therapist may also attend the visit to ensure holistic approach to the CYP care and treatment.

Respiratory physiotherapy will stop once your child is getting better, able to cough and clear secretions and move around as they do normally.

Physiotherapists usually work between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm.

What might respiratory physiotherapy treatment involve?

There several different techniques used to help clear secretions and keep the lungs full of air and as healthy as possible.

The physiotherapist will work closely with family, carers and other professionals to ensure the treatment program is specific to meet the CYP needs and their current goals.

Physiotherapy treatment may involve:

  • Assessment and development of child specific treatment plans and teaching packages.
  • Airway clearance assessment and treatment such as positioning, hands-on techniques, breathing exercises, blowing games, respiratory equipment such as cough assist (mechanical insufflation-exsufflation), Vest (high frequency chest wall oscillation), suction machine, positive pressure devices eg PEP, acapella.
  • Exercise therapy
  • Inhalation therapy such as inhalers or nebulisers
  • Postural care advice.
  • Support and advice on adherence with treatment.
  • Education, training and preventative management for CYP, parents and carers.
  • Program for nursery/school or advice around activities within PE lessons.
Referral Information

Please ensure the CYP meets the acceptance criteria:

  • CYP must be registered with a Coventry GP, unless attending a specialised school within Coventry, when the child will be seen in school regardless of GP location.
  • CYP who is registered with a Coventry GP who lives and/or attends school outside the city boundaries will be offered treatment in our clinic setting only

Further information can be found on our website: Childrens & Young People’s Physiotherapy Service in Coventry.

To refer complete the Referral Form (click here or follow referral link on right)

Please complete and send to OtPhysio.SLT@covwarkpt.nhs.uk.

We will write to you to let you know the outcome once we have received your referral.

We will also contact you to notify you of any CYP issues and on discharge

EMIS Referral Form Guide

Please note- EMIS form Only:

  1. The referral form cannot be opened outside of EMIS, please SAVE UNOPENED DOCUMENT on your desktop or in downloads then import the form using EMIS TEMPLATE MANAGER and then you can view the form within your clinical system
  2. When you import the form, please ensure when saving the form, you click ‘YES’ to protecting the form. This will appear as a prompt within EMIS. This will ensure the tick boxes work correctly. 
Contact for Further Information

Community Children’s Respiratory Physiotherapy Team

Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust


Physiotherapy office: 02476 961455

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