Inpatient therapy services are provided across PICU and Ward 30. Not all children will require involvement from each of the specialties and they may only be needed for part of their stay within EMCHC. 


The play specialist staff have a broad role within EMCHC. Any hospital stay can be distressing, particularly for our younger patients. Through learning and play, our specialist staff can help children to understand and cope with interventions and treatment. They also provide developmental assessment and support to children who may be on PICU and/or ventilated as well as to patients on the ward with a prolonged stay. 

Physiotherapy (PT)

The physiotherapists primarily provide assessment and management of respiratory issues pre and post-surgery. The main aim of treatment is to help support your child’s breathing by helping to clear secretions. If they are acutely unwell with a chest infection or being supported by a ventilator, they may require more input.

Mobilisation is usually a key component of your child’s treatment and we encourage regular movement where appropriate, whether this be simply changing their position in bed to walking longer distances around the hospital.

For those children with on-going PT needs, they may be referred to the relevant local outpatient or community service for follow-up. 

Occupational Therapy (OT)

EMCHC is one of few centres nationally to have access to dedicated Occupational Therapy (OT) provision in a paediatric cardiac setting. The OT works with your child to help them engage in their normal everyday activity such as play, learning, exploration, feeding and self-care. They will also provide assessment and treatment to support their developmental needs as well as their physical and mental health and well-being. Developmental input can begin from birth onwards, assessing your child’s capacity to interact and cope with their environment, through to meeting their development milestones. The OT may provide seating and specialist equipment if clinically indicated, provision of splinting as required and liaison with community services in preparation for discharge. 

Paediatric Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy Speciality Lead: Emma Pilley
Email: emma.pilley@uhl-tr.nhs.uk