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Patients & Visitors

Children's Therapies


Children's Therapies survey 2018

"In the autumn of 2018 we sent out a service-wide survey to children/young people and parent/carers asking for simple feedback on what we do well and what we could do better. This was with the help of our RUH Patient Experience team. Our thanks go to all the families who took the time to send us their views."

Emily Graham
Head of Children's Therapies

Survey results

This survey was carried out in September and October 2018. A total of 515 questionnaires were sent out, generated from a list of all children/young people on an active caseload under the RUH Children's Therapies service between April and September 2018. 93 completed surveys were returned, an 18% response rate The age range of children was from five months to 17 years old. Of those 34 (36.9%) were four years or under.

From 92 responses, 88.1% (81) said their experience of the Children's Therapies Service was 'good/ok', 10.9% (10) 'not good', 1.1% (1) 'didn't know'.

There were 89 replies from parents/carers on what was good about your experience. Comments included "Very friendly, which helps make my son comfortable," "Easy to contact for help and advice, really good support," and "Very helpful and friendly staff, good facilities."

Good Experience Example Number
Positive attitude/approachable staff Very friendly, which helps make my son comfortable 35
Good communication Easy to contact for help and advice, really good support. 16
Responsive Physio services are very quick to reply to emails 12
Good advice/ information the level of advice and support from X was/is exceptional 11
Adapting to child's needs Very thorough, adaptable as changed the setting to suit child 6
Punctual Punctual, great communication, cheerful staff members, prompt appointments after referral 8
Good environment/resources Good length of sessions and variety of resources. 5
Good engagement with nursery/ school Support for our child at school, and with challenges, providing some support in class to help the teacher 5
Outcomes achieved We found really positive progress as a result of attending these one on one sessions. 5
Miscellaneous I can say the best is provided with limited resources 4
Not rushed Not rushed and ensured we were clear on next stages 2
Seen by multiple therapists Boost sessions seeing multiple therapists. very helpful and friendly staff. good facilities 1

Suggestions of what could improve the service included: "More regular appointments and meetings," "More helpful advice to help the child and not just hand-outs," and "Shorter waiting times, especially when you have a child with severe learning difficulties."

Suggested Improvement Example Number
Communication A letter/ leaflet to tell me what I'm going to be expecting. Less waiting to hear from our OT, always have to chase them up. 19
Nothing to improve/ don't know We had no issues to share that could improve services 15
More follow up contact More regular appointments/ meetings 12
More resources no toys in waiting room can be a problem 7
More responsive the PT and OT were always going to be needed yet had to wait until her first review after NICU discharge to access the service. Some delay getting feedback etc. from outpatients and nursery observations 6
Easier parking The parking at RUH!!! 4
Better environment Maybe a smaller outdoor space for the children 3
Better advice More helpful advice to help the child and not just hand-outs 3
Better punctuality Shorter waiting times, especially when you have a child with severe learning disabilities 3
Groups - parents/ days offered/ distance Bringing families together with similar issues 2
More specialist knowledge/ treatment from therapists More specialised treatments in sensory processing work / sensory attachment intervention models, 2
Better signposting to other services OT wasn't our best avenue but I had to find the right service myself 1

Of the 63 replies from children and young people, 55 (87.3%) said their last therapy session was 'good/ok' and four (6.3%) said 'not good'.

There were 54 replies to what was good about their last session. Responses included "People are friendly and want help," "It helps me! It helps my muscles," and "It was good because while we waited we played table football."

Good Experience
Example Number
Child/ Young Person response
Liked the therapist "People are friendly and want to help" 9
Liked the activities I did fun stuff like lie on the floor with my arms and legs in the air. I had to walk along a line. 6
Found the session helped them It helps me! It helps my muscles. 3
Liked the environment It was good because while we waited we played table football 1
Parent/Carer response
Intervention/outcome The session was actually the last in the programme and so there was reflection on what had been achieved. this proved to be a good confidence boost for my child 10
Communication Good discussion about how to fit boots, questions answered 3
Environment/resources Good environment. Child had a positive experience 3
Activities Good at using child's likes to make therapy like play 2
Not rushed Never felt like there was a rush, lots of time to get child checked and ask for support 2
Efficient X is always very organised, on time and professional 2


A similar number of replies came from families who had been seen by either a Physiotherapist or an Occupational Therapist. A proportion had been seen by both. Therapy support staff had also been seen.

The majority of children and young people had been seen at the Children's centre at the RUH (66.3%) but it was pleasing to also receive replies from the cohort of children/young people seen in community settings with this survey (33.7%). This doesn't quite reflect where the caseload is seen, which averages at 50% in the community and 50% in the Children's centre at the RUH.

36.9%of replies were from families with children 4 years or under. This impacted on the number of responses directly from children / young people for questions 10 and 11.

There was a spread across the conditions treated by the Children's Therapies service with children treated for musculoskeletal /orthopaedic problems (32.2%), neurological conditions 18.2%, and the remainder a mix of developmental, coordination and sensory related conditions. Four respondents identified language delay as their child's main condition which is not something treated by the Children's Therapies team. However, this is a reflection of the joint working with both the community and RUH Children's Speech and Language teams which the department has.

Emerging themes were similar for both good experiences reported from parents and children and for suggested areas for improvement.

Key learning and Actions

The whole of the Children's Therapies team met and looked at the detailed responses within identified themes. The team were asked to look at both what had made a good experience for service users as well as what hadn't been so positive. In small groups they listed suggestions that they felt were achievable from the survey responses as well as ideas of their own to address areas of concern.

They also provided ideas that would address areas of inconsistency, such as where there was positive and negative feedback for the same issue. All ideas were then brought together and actions agreed.

  1. Overall high levels of satisfaction with the helpfulness and approachability of the whole team
  2. Some areas associated with initial contact from the service could be improved
  3. Highlighted some areas of good practice need to be consistent across the service
  4. Some improvement in resources and environment , mainly in the waiting area, identified

  1. Feedback to the team and encourage continued good practice
  2. Improve appointment letter and signage within the Department, and additions to web page
  3. Use of clinical supervision, audit of administrative processes, improved administrative tools and team continuing professional development to encourage consistency of good practices
  4. Options for additional play equipment bought through department's charitable funds for the waiting area to be offered. Fresh eye view from families of treatment areas and suggested options for improvement to be offered

Our thanks go to all the families who took the time to send us their views.

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