Children’s Occupational Therapy

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About our service

The Children’s Occupational Therapy Team provides a service to children from birth to 19 years of age (if in full time education) who have a General Practitioner (GP) registered within the Wakefield Integrated Care Board (ICB).

We assess children whose ability to play, participate in the school day and complete daily childhood occupations is affected by illness, disability, or other specific developmental difficulty. Therapy goals, advice and/or intervention are offered based on the outcome of our occupational therapy assessment. Our role also extends to making recommendations and completing onward referrals to support the physical management and environment needed for our service user group to increase their independence.

Assessment may take place in the children’s therapy department, child’s own home, school or nursery, children’s ward at Pinderfields Hospital (for inpatients) or remotely via telephone/video consultation. We work closely with external agencies including colleagues in health, education and social services.

Where are we based?

The team is based in the Children's Centres within Pinderfields and Pontefract hospital sites.

Referral criteria 

Referrals can be accepted from a child’s consultant, General Practitioner (GP), other health professional or parents. We do not accept referrals from nurseries, schools or other education settings.  All referrals are triaged and, if accepted, they are allocated depending on level of need. If a referral is not accepted, the referrer will be informed.

Please see our referral criteria below and link to the referral form to complete if the criteria is met.

A referral meets the criteria if:

  • the child has a complex need and is under the care of a GP in the Wakefield Integrated Care Board (ICB)
  • the child is under a hospital or community-based paediatrician (if an inpatient at Pinderfields Hospital). 


Significant clinical need:


Acute inpatient (Pinderfields hospital site only)



Occupational Therapy assessment/intervention required during inpatient acute admission at Pinderfields Hospital and/or planned orthopaedic surgery when the child requires equipment and/or moving and handling advice for safe discharge home.





Risk of injury to child and/or carer due to their presentation (including moving and handling risk, unsafe home environment, damaged equipment, sensory presentation, at risk of aspiration if not supported in optimal position/alignment with equipment)




Risk of physical deterioration due to medical condition e.g. cerebral palsy, neuromuscular conditions etc.

Children who require Occupational Therapy input for:

  • ongoing postural management 
  • seating assessment for postural needs or safe feeding position
  • essential equipment assessment e.g. toileting, hoist/slings 
  • advice to maintain optimum positioning to prevent musculoskeletal changes e.g. spasticity management.




Children who have specific difficulty with age-appropriate childhood occupations that is not on par with their overall level of physical and cognitive development.

For example; getting dressed, using cutlery to feed themselves, using their hands to play with toys or writing at school.



Referral form

Specialist interventions offered by the Team

Our assessments are designed to meet the presenting needs of the child and frequently fit within a neurodevelopmental or biomechanical framework. Through discussion with the child, young person and parents, client centred goals are identified.
Occupational performance areas assessed include:

  • Self care
  • Productivity
  • Play
  • Specific areas of assessment
  • Developmental levels
  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Visual motor integration
  • Visual perception
  • Sensory integration
  • Neurodevelopmental interventions
  • 24 hour postural care
  • Assessment of the home environment
  • Moving and handling assessment and provision of advice and appropriate equipment
  • Treatment to address a specific area of need (for example, writing, feeding, dressing)
  • Occasional assessment and provision of orthosis where this is part of the presenting condition.

An individual treatment plan is then designed to meet achievable goals for the child or carer within current service provision.

Learning and development

The team holds regular in-service training sessions and also has a supervision structure which facilitates learning through joint working and observations. We are committed to exploring the evidence base for our interventions.

Additionally on a weekly basis we discuss articles of interest and undertake a task analysis of the equipment used in treatment.