Complex disability and eating and drinking difficulties

This is a multidisciplinary pathway involving Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Physiotherapy with a skill mix of therapists and integrated therapy assistants.

The provision within this pathway is delivered across:

  • Workshops and advice for parents and professionals
  • Individual sessions
  • Group work.

Children and young people who need significant support to meet their communication, physical and sensory needs are offered support on the Complex Disability and eating and drinking difficulties pathway. Children and young people may be offered support through this pathway if any of the following are their primary area of need:

  • Complex health needs
  • Multiple specialist interventions
  • Cerebral Palsy - levels 4-5 of the Gross Motor Function Classification System
  • eating and drinking difficulties
  • Profound and multiple learning disability
  • Neuro-muscular (acute deterioration or new complex presentation)
  • Susceptibility to reparatory compromise including that associated with eating and drinking difficulties (cognition, airway clearance, decreased active movement and limited cough).

Children and young people can access this Pathway from 0 to 18 years old (or up to 19 if in full time education). Please visit the  Accessing our service page for further information

We aim to work in partnership with parents, with parental involvement adapted to suit age and needs. Home/school programmes and/or online training for parents and education staff will be available.

Following assessment, a child or young person on this specialist pathway will receive targeted advice and intervention from practitioners within the Children's Integrated Therapy and Equipment service including: Occupational Therapist (OT), Physiotherapist (PT) Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), trained Integrated Therapies Assistants (ITAs), or a combination of practitioners.

Please select from one of the following pages to access training videos, further information and helpful links and resources or phone our Therapy One Point service on 0300 123 2650 to access advice and signposting and discuss whether or not a referral to our service is needed.

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Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

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