Occupational therapy services for children and young people

Overview

Skills for living and learning

The purpose of our paediatric occupational therapy service is to enable people to participate in daily activities (or occupations) to improve their health, independence and wellbeing. Occupations for children or young people may include self-care (dressing, eating a meal, using the toilet, making a simple meal), being productive (participating in activities and routines at nursery or school, or volunteering), and leisure (playing with friends, doing sports or hobbies). 

Occupational therapists can help babies, children and young people who may need support and advice if they are not able to do daily occupations due to illness, disability, family circumstances, or as a result of changes as they get older.

Occupational therapists will support the child or young person, their family and other relevant people such as teachers, to evaluate challenges and strengths in doing daily activities. This service usually occurs within the child’s natural environment (home, school or other relevant community settings), although specialist assessments may also take place in a clinic.

Download a leaflet about occupational therapy services for children and young people from the College of Occupational Therapists.

Patient services

Additional information

Contact

Do you have an appointment?

Find your ward

  • Royal Free Hospital - Head occupational therapist

    Betty Hutchon
    Royal Free Hospital
    Lower ground floor
    Pond Street
    London
    NW3 2QG

    Email: bettyhutchon@nhs.net
    Telephone: 020 7830 2535

  • Child development team - Camden MOSAIC

    (integrated service for disabled children under five years of age)

    Child development team
    Kentish Town Health Centre
    2 Bartholomew Road
    London
    NW5 2BX    

    Enquiries: 020 3317 2200

  • Mainstream schools service

    Kentish Town Health Centre 
    Paediatric occupational therapy department
    2 Bartholomew Road 
    London
    NW5 2BX    

    Enquiries: 020 3317 2274 or 020 3317 2273

  • Neurodevelopmental follow-up service

    Betty Hutchon
    Lower ground floor
    The Royal Free Hospital
    Pond Street
    London
    NW3 2QG

    Email: bettyhutchon@nhs.net
    Telephone: 020 7830 2535

  • Special school services

    Swiss Cottage School 
    Occupational therapy department
    80 Avenue Road 
    London 
    NW8 6HX    

    Enquiries: 020 7681 8080

Hospital locations

Referrals

Referral details

Any child/young person (from birth to school/college leaving age) who lives or attends nursery, school or college in Camden may be referred to the paediatric occupational therapy service.

Who can refer?

  • Teachers, special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs), school nurses
  • School/hospital doctors, GPs
  • Allied health professionals
  • Parents

How to make a referral

Children and young people can be referred to our service through the online SPOR (single point of referral) system. Referrals can be made by healthcare professionals or parents who believe the child or young person may benefit from occupational therapy services. This is an NHS service so there are no charges, but it is envisaged that if a parent wanted to use a personal budget for their child this may be possible in the future.

If you are a parent of a school aged child or young person in Camden, you can refer directly via the online system. If you have any problems completing the online form, you can ask a healthcare or educational professional to complete it for you, such as your GP, school SENDCo, therapist, paediatrician, CAMHS, etc.

Once a referral is accepted and processed by our team, the referrer will receive an acknowledgement letter and contact will be made with the parents/guardian of the child or young person within a short time frame.

For further information and guidance please contact the SPOR administrator on 020 3317 2250.

Reasons for referral

Children and young people with any type of disability or difficulties to participate in daily activities can be referred to this service. Occupational therapists can suggest alternative ways of doing activities, providing advice on learning new approaches, or assist by recommending different types of assistive equipment.

For example, an occupational therapist can help people to improve skills and participation in the following activities:

  • Self-care: getting dressed, using the toilet, preparing simple meals, using cutlery, participating in hygiene routines, etc. 
  • Productivity (participation in nursery, school or other vocational activities): handwriting, using tools and materials in the classroom, following school routines, attending to tasks, adopting self-regulating behaviours, volunteering, using computers and technology, participating in PE sessions, etc.
  • Leisure and play: playing sports, shopping with friends, doing hobbies, playing age-appropriate games, etc.