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Health professionals

  • Referring a patient to the RCH Physiotherapy Department

    For internal referrals from RCH staff please refer to the RCH staff page.

    How to refer

    Referrals are only accepted from Paediatricians or other relevant medical specialists. 

    We do not accept referrals from General Practitioners (GP) or any health professionals other than Paediatricians and medical specialists except for specific conditions or treatments listed below.

    • Plagiocephaly and/or torticollis - Referrals accepted from GPs
    • Brachial plexus injury - Referrals accepted from GPs, Maternal and Child Health Nurses, Physiotherapists and other allied health professionals
    • Aquatic physiotherapy - Referrals accepted from Physiotherapists

    Referrals for outpatient physiotherapy should be faxed to +61 3 9345 5034.

    To ensure appropriate and timely review and triage of referrals please ensure the following information is included:

    • Patient demographic information
      • Full name and date of birth
      • Name of parent, guardian or carer
      • Address
      • Mobile (or best contact) phone number for parent, guardian or carer
      • Medicare number
      • ATSI (indigenous status)
      • CALD (interpreter requirements)
    • Clinical information
      • Reason for referral
      • Physical examination results
      • Management to date (including weight-bearing status where appropriate)
      • Investigation results
      • Relevant medical history
      • Allergies
      • Relevant medications
    • Referrer name and contact details

    Aquatic Physiotherapy

    If you are referring a child for aquatic physiotherapy there is further information that is required to complete safety screening.  Please complete your referral on the aquatic physiotherapy referral form.  If you need further information regarding the impact of aquatic physiotherapy on the body or certain medical conditions please refer to our medical information sheet.

    Eligibility criteria

    The outpatient physiotherapy service at RCH is based on providing a tertiary level service that is not available in the community.

    Referrals will not be accepted if a patient already has a suitable physiotherapy service in the community (unless a second opinion is specifically required).

    Patient and family resources

    The RCH Kids Health Info fact sheets cover a wide range of topics including many that are relevant to physiotherapy.

    Some of the facts sheets that are particularly relevant to physiotherapy include:

    • Ankle sprains
    • Brachial plexus palsy or Erb's palsy
    • Brain injury - Gross Motor Skills
    • Brain injury - Physical activity
    • Brain injury - Physical effects of injury
    • Burns - rehabilitation
    • Crutches
    • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)
    • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
    • Fracture care
    • Fractures (broken bones)
    • Hip spica plaster
    • Plagiocephaly - misshapen head
    • Plaster cast care
    • Preventing falls in hospital
    • Slipped upper femoral epiphysis (SUFE)

    An information sheet is also available on Baby's head shape: Face time and tummy time equals head control.

    A copy of the RCH "Understanding Brachial Plexus Palsy" information booklet can be found on the Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery website.

    Physiotherapy options in the community

    In many cases it is more appropriate for children to receive physiotherapy within their local community.

    Some local hospitals and community health centres offer publically funded paediatric physiotherapy services.  They should be contacted to determine what services are available.

    If your patient wishes to see a private physiotherapist closer to home you can search for a physiotherapist in their local area through the 'Find a Physio' function of the Australian Physiotherapy Association website.

    Post Intervention Therapy (Cerebral Palsy)

    Post Intervention Therapy (PIT) funding is available for children with Cerebral Palsy who require additional physiotherapy following orthopaedic surgery to their lower limbs.  More information regarding the eligibility criteria and relevant forms and documents for therapists are located on the RCH Complex Care webpage.

    How to contact a physiotherapist at RCH

    The Physiotherapy Department can be contacted via telephone on +61 3 9345 9300 between 8.30am and 5.00pm.  It is most helpful to our administration team if you know the name of the physiotherapist you wish to speak to when you call.  As we are often treating children during the day we may not be able to take your call immediately but if you leave a message for us we will call you back as soon as we can.

    Manager - Dr Fiona Fenton

    Cardiorespiratory Team Leader - Jen Corda

    Neurosciences Team Leader - Kari Steer and Natalie McCallum

    Orthopaedics Team Leader - Greg Cull