Welcome to the Children's Physiotherapy Service for North Derbyshire

Our children's physiotherapy team works with children with neurodevelopmental, neurological and other motor difficulties from birth until they leave school.

We aim to provide children we see with a high quality assessment, advice and treatment to help them manage their difficulties. We endeavour to help children and young people reach their potential through fun and child centred activities.

We see children aged 0 to 18 years. In certain circumstances we will continue to see children until they are 19 years old.

Conditions treated:

  • Neurological conditions e.g. Cerebral Palsy, Acquired Brain Injury
  • Neuromuscular disorders e.g. Muscular Dystrophy
  • Congenital disorders e.g. Spina Bifida, Limb Deficiencies
  • Congenital syndromes and metabolic diseases
  • Developmental delay
  • Minor gait e.g. Toe walking, Talipes
  • Torticollis/ head turning preference
  • Co-ordination difficulties
  • Oncology 

We work in partnership with the child, family and all other professionals from health, education and social care settings to maximise a child’s physical abilities and independence.

We endeavour to help the family and the wider team of carers understand the child’s physical difficulties and how to enable them to achieve their best.

We assess the child’s abilities and analyse how they move.  From this assessment we will formulate an individual management plan.

This will typically involve teaching parents and carers specific activities to practice with their child and how best to manage their physical needs throughout their daily routine.

This may also include the provision of specialist equipment to support standing and walking.

We work closely with our Occupational Therapy colleagues particularly if the child has postural needs, a movement disorder or Developmental coordination difficulties.

Specialist services
  • We offer an orthotic clinic in Chesterfield and in Buxton.
  • We offer a hydrotherapy service at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

We see children in the location that is most appropriate to their needs; this could be in their home, a clinic, nursery or school.

Our team is based at the following sites:

  • The Den, Chesterfield Royal Hospital
  • Buxton Health Centre
  • Newholme Hospital, Bakewell
For all enquiries contact:

Children's Specialist Services @ The Den, Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Tel: 01246 514554

Our mode of work

New referrals will be triaged and allocated to a physiotherapist who will see the child in the most appropriate location.

Referrals will be managed in the following way: -

  • Initial contact and assessment

  • Creation of a management plan where play positions and activities are advised

  • Joint working with parents, teaching and nursery staff to ensure that these activities are carried out on a regular basis as advised by the physiotherapist

  • Liaison with education, parents and carers and other members of the health team


Any information about your child and yourselves is treated in confidence.

It is good practice to discuss the clinical details of your child with other appropriate health professionals. This co-ordinates our care to enable us to offer the best service to you and your child. With your permission, information will be shared with other agencies, i.e. Education.

All health professionals have a duty of care to share information with other agencies if they feel a child is at risk or is suffering harm.

Our children's physiotherapy team works closely with a range of specialists including:

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Orthotists
  • Children's Community Nurses
  • School Nurses
  • Health Visitors
  • Educational Psychology
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Learning Disabilities CAMHS
  • Child Development Service
  • Paediatricians
  • Mainstream and Special schools/ Nursery staff
  • Early Year's Services
  • Local authority educational and social services

We are a team of highly specialised physiotherapists.

Our staff are registered with the Health & Care Professions Council and have Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.

All staff are members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and many are members of its professional network the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists.

Meet the team

Kathy Mackey

Team Leader  

Children’s Physiotherapist: Community

Samantha Giles

Children’s Physiotherapist: Community

Cathy Smith

Children’s Physiotherapist: Special schools

Sarah Trezise-Hardinge

Children’s Physiotherapist Community 

Heather Harrison

Children’sPhysiotherapist: Community

Area covered: High Peak

Melanie Gawthorpe

Children’s Physiotherapist: Community 

Sharon English

Children’s Physiotherapist: Outpatients and DCD 

Sue Macdonald

Children’s Physiotherapist: Community

Rachel Webb
Children’s Physiotherapist: Community

Sally Penny

Children’s Physiotherapist: Special Schools and Outpatients
Liz Mellor

Children’s Physiotherapy Assistant

Information for GP’s and other healthcare professionals who refer patients to our children’s physiotherapy team.

PLEASE NOTE, all referrals for children with musculoskeletal or rheumatology based problems should be made to the Children's MSK Physiotherapy department in Suite 5.

Referral criteria for children’s physiotherapy


Children residing in North Derbyshire and registered with a North Derbyshire GP as defined by the borough of Bolsover, Chesterfield, High Peak and North Dales and North East Derbyshire.

Age Range

0-18 years and to 19 years if the child is still in full time education to the end of that school year.


Assessment and intervention will be provided to children with conditions including but not limited to:-

  • Neurological conditions
  • Neurodevelopment conditions
  • Deteriorating and life limiting conditions
  • Neuro-muscular conditions
  • Congenital disorders and syndromes
  • Developmental delay where therapeutic intervention can be effective
  • Torticollis
  • Positional Talipes (Structural Talipes should be referred directly to the Paediatric Orthopaedic Consultant)
  • Minor Gait concerns e.g. Toe walking or unilateral intoeing
  • Pre-term infants at high risk of developmental conditions
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Pre-term infants at high risk of developmental conditions
  • Learning disabilities where there are functional difficulties
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder

How do you refer to our children’s physiotherapy service?

Referrals will be accepted in writing on our Physiotherapy referral form.

Documentation which forms part of the Common Assessment framework or CAF pre-assessment will be accepted as a referral.

Referrals are accepted from:

  • Consultants
  • General Practitioners
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Community nurses
  • Health visitors
  • School Doctors
  • School nurse employed within NHS

All referrals should be made on our Referral for Physiotherapy Form (form attached), and posted to our team at:

Children’s Physiotherapy
1st Floor
The Den
Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
S44 5BL

Download Referral for Physiotherapy Form

If more information is required this is sought from the referrer and/or the parents.

The family will then be contacted to make a convenient appointment.

Children appropriate for the Developmental Coordination service are sent questionnaires for the parents and school staff to complete. When these are returned an appointment will be offered for the child to attend an assessment clinic. This clinic is provided jointly with the Children’s Occupational Therapy service.

If the initial appointment is not attended the referrer is informed and another appointment will be offered.

If the child fails to attend a second time they will be discharged back to the referrer to decide if the child is at risk.

What referral information does our children’s physiotherapy service need?

Referrals should include the following information:-

  • Client’s name, address, date of birth
  • Contact details of carers
  • GP name and address
  • School/ Nursery/ Setting attended
  • Description of reason for referral and the expected outcomes
  • Consent from the person with parental responsibility
  • Referrer’s name, organisation, address, contact details
Waiting times for children’s physiotherapy

Children will be offered an initial appointment within 7 weeks of receipt of referral or sooner if assessed as high priority.