The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable children and young people to participate as much as possible in activities of everyday life. We incorporate meaningful and purposeful activities to enable those with limitations or impairments to reach their full potential.

As Occupational Therapists we address these questions:

  • Why does the child/young person have difficulties managing their daily activities?
  • What we can do to make it possible for them to manage better?
  • How will this impact on their health and wellbeing?

How we can help:

  • Specialist seating for positioning and play at home as well as nursery or school  
  • Specialist equipment for sleeping and night time positioning
  • Bathing needs
  • Toileting needs
  • Play and hand skill development
  • Development of dressing skills
  • Early moving and handling advice
  • Assessment and recommendation for minor or major adaptations in the home environment

We discuss short and long term goals and provide episodes of occupational therapy intervention with reassessment at key times. These goals progress towards discharge or transition to self-management or other forms of care.

We work closely with Physiotherapists and Speech and Language Therapists within the local Children's Therapy Service as well as other professionals and agencies involved in the care of the child or young person.

Criteria for Referral

  • The Occupational Therapy Service will see:
  • Children and young people who have an address and GP within the Central and Pennine regions of Lancashire (the geographical footprint of the service).
  • We offer a service for children and young people aged 0-18.
  • For young people who access special education, we will continue to support known health needs up to the age of 19. For any new needs identified post 18th birthday, we will support you to refer to adult services.
  • Children with a physical motor difficulty which is impacting on their daily occupations, their independence or access to their home environment.
  • If the evidence base indicates that occupational therapy will be beneficial to reducing the impact of their difficulties.
  • If you are unsure if you meet our criteria please contact us to discuss. 

Sources of Referral

Anyone can request involvement, including the service user or their parent or carer. Other professionals may refer the child or young person to the service, e.g. Health Visitors, Learning Disability Nurses, Speech and Language Therapists, Children's Services, Hospital staff, GPs, Community Paediatricians.

Written, verbal and electronic requests are accepted.

The service is provided free of charge.

Referrals are accepted via:

Referral and Assessment Centre
Room FD GF 34
Daisyfield Mill
Appleby Street

Telephone: 01254 612600
Email: C&

Please click here to download our Referral Form

The therapist will talk to you and ask questions about your child and your concerns. They will talk to your child and depending on their age may play games and do activities related to difficulties highlighted on the request for involvement form.

They may also carry out specific assessments to identify what is impacting on your child’s ability to do their day to day activities. They will explain the results of these to you and discuss what help your child might need.

Due to COVID 19 face to face initial assessments are currently not routinely available. We will continue to support you and your child by using other approaches to complete initial assessments.

What if English is not my first Language?

If English is not your first language and you think you may not be able to communicate well with our staff please let us know this on the request for involvement as a professional interpreter can be booked for appointments.

What happens following my child's assessment?

  • You may be given advice and strategies to try with your child and be discharged from the service
  • You may be offered further assessment to identify your child's strengths and needs
  • You may be offered a block of treatment to work on identified goals
  • You may be given a programme of activities for school/nursery to carry out
  • A request for involvement may be made to another service e.g. physiotherapy

This will depend on the nature of your difficulties and may be in a clinic, listed below, or at your school or home. Due to COVID 19 face to face appointments are currently not routinely available. We will continue to support you and your child by using other approaches- please see 'Occupational Therapy: What We Do' section of the website for more information.

Chorley and South Ribble

  • Broadoaks Child Development Centre, Balcarres Road, Leyland, PR25 3ED

Greater Preston

  • Minerva Health Centre Lowthorpe Road, Preston, Lancashire PR16SB
  • Ashton Health Centre, 67-69 Pedders Lane, Preston PR2 1HR

West Lancashire

  • Child Development Centre, Ormskirk & District General Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2JW

Hyndburn, Ribble Valley and Rossendale

  • Acorn Primary Health Care Centre, 421 Blackburn Road, Accrington, BB5 1RT

Burnley and Pendle

  • St Peter's Centre, Church Street, Burnley, BB11 2DL

Blackburn with Darwen

  • Shadsworth Children's Centre, Shadsworth Road, Blackburn, BB1 2HR

Do you need to purchase additional therapy services?

We offer a range of additional services which can be tailored to meet the needs of individual organisations. If you would be interested in buying additional Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy services for the children you support we would be more than happy to discuss your individual needs and to advise on a bespoke package to meet your needs. You can be assured of our high quality and competitive prices.

To discuss your individual requirements please contact us on:

Telephone: 01254 283139

Your Childs Journey

When you leave the hospital it can sometimes be very daunting going home with your baby. There are so many things to think about you ,may have many professionals involved.

The Community Occupational Therapist (OT) and Physiotherapist (PT) in line with the NICE guidelines have set up a more integrated approach to reduce the amount of appointments and make sure you are seen in the home environment, rather than a clinic setting and together working at what you and you’re child’s priorities might be and working closely with the other professionals involved.

Sharing Information

It is important to communicate and share information with other professionals that are supporting you and your child. It ensures you don’t have to keep re-telling your medical journey to different professionals, therefore integrating the amount of intervention required. Through the Early Help scheme we will hold regular Team around the child meetings so everybody is working together.

The other professionals we will work with are: - Health Visitor, Neonatal outreach , Complex Nursing team , Community Outreach , Children’s Feeding team , Consultants , Derian House , SEND Portage service .

How will we contact you?

We receive a joint referral with all your information on and we will contact you directly by phone to see how things are going and work out what your concerns or priorities might be. Our assessments are OT/PT integrated and so you will be seen by either one of us initially but we will be communicating and sharing knowledge about your child to ensure the best approach to support.

What will we be doing?

  • We will look at your child’s daily routine and advice on positioning and handling techniques to help your child sleep, grow, feed and get to know their family.
  • We look at commercial equipment that you already have that might help with positioning but may also assess and provide more suitable specialist equipment, such as sleep systems, specialist seating and bathing equipment.
  • We will look at your child’s movement and sensory development which will support your child to start to develop early play and communication skills.

​​​​​​​How often will you see my child?

Our role is to provide training and support to meet your child’s therapy needs. It is important that we do not overload you with information and will go at your pace. We will tailor our therapy and advice depending on the severity of your child’s disability, age and behaviours. Providing you with the skills to develop in confidence, our goal with you and your child is to provide a tailored approach to your child and family’s individual needs. We often take pictures of your child’s positioning and handling techniques or give out positioning advice sheets to help. Our therapists are able to use WhatsApp on work mobiles and parents feel that having pictures sent of their child’s positioning is very useful and it allows parents to feedback pictures or send short video clips of how things are going.

This approach alongside home visits reduces the amount of appointments and helps to support your journey.

Information you may find useful

You may wish to download Birth to 2 years Complex Children Therapy Journey - Information for parents and carers as a PDF document but please note that the document does not meet accessibility standards.