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Physiotherapy Support

The Physiotherapy Team at Applefields School consists of a Physiotherapist and a Physiotherapy Assistant. Both are state registered with a speciality in Paediatrics. The team are part of York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and are based at Applefields School to ensure that the staff are able to become as fully involved as possible in the student's daily programme in school. We treat those children who have been referred to us by the Consultant Paediatrician, GP or those already known to the Physiotherapy team. The aim is to work closely with school staff, providing training where necessary and to promote therapy as a part of daily living.


Treatment is generally focussed on those students who have movement disorders and this will vary from person to person depending on need and individual goals. Input may include the provision of specialist equipment, for example; standing frames and walking aids or we may design an individually tailored exercise programme according to the child's needs; such as improving strength, balance and ultimately their functional capabilities. We will also include respiratory care as necessary. Joint working is completed with the Orthotist, who attends school regularly, in the provision of splints and specialist footwear. There is also multi-disciplinary working with the Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist and the School Nurses.


Within school we are also on hand to advise on manual handling issues such as hoisting and transfers and we work closely with the Occupational Therapist to assess wheelchairs and seating. Liaison is also carried out with the wheelchair centre and we will attend appointments with the student and their parent / carer where possible.


The Hydrotherapy Pool at Applefields is used by those students who find it difficult to access mainstream swimming pools or would benefit from the greater mobility that working in warmer water provides. A child will work through a personalised exercise programme either with trained Teaching Assistants or the Therapist. A mixture of physiotherapy exercises and the Halliwick method of increasing water confidence are used.


Home visits may be offered during school holidays or after school, ensuring continuation of care into the home environment. We can advise on any equipment or problems relating to the child’s physiotherapy programme or movement disorder.

The Therapists provide advice to the Local Authority regarding the student’s Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan. We work closely with the child, parents / carers and school staff to address their concerns and work towards shared goals.


Helen Ryan, Phyiotherapist and Karen Heaton, Physiotherapy Assistant can be contacted directly on (01904) 553913. If you are unable to contact either Helen or Karen a message can be left with the school admin team on (01904) 553900.