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Paediatric Rehabilitation Service




      Rehabilitation provides advice and assistance to RCH teams to assist in determining which children may benefit from a rehabilitation program. Some may require only brief assessment without follow-up, while others will have a rehabilitation plan devised according to their functional needs. The rehabilitation team and other clinicians then determine with the family/carers what is the most suitable way of providing rehabilitation, either as an inpatient, day rehabilitation, or ambulatory rehabilitation or with one of our regional sites.

      Inpatient Rehabilitation

       Inpatient rehabilitation should be considered for clients who still require nursing or medical involvement, would be unsafe if discharged home, live in a rural setting and are unable to get to an ambulatory site, or when there is a need for intensive interdisciplinary treatment. It is always time limited, and goal orientated. 

      The main rehabilitation inpatient area at RCH is the Kelpie ward on Level 1 North, however patients can be located on other wards and still be under the rehabilitation team.

      Once the child and their family have been admitted they will meet with the interdisciplinary rehabilitation team to devise an appropriate program which usually includes a structured weekly timetable of therapy sessions to meet functional goals for their child. Family-team meetings are held regularly to ensure that there is a clear communication process and to help the family gradually prepare for home.

      Ongoing communication is maintained with the referring medical or surgical team. Early in the inpatient admission, assessment and planning takes place for other services which the family may require after going home, such as attendant care, home- or local-based therapy, and a return-to-school plan. Most patients will be followed up in the rehabilitation service that is closest to their home, to review their progress and plan further services and programs as required. Often a paediatrician will also follow-up with the patient and family.

      Day Rehabilitation

      The day rehabilitation program is an intensive outpatient program that is offered at RCH and provides a coordinated interdisciplinary approach for patients that require intensive therapy over a short period of one to 2 weeks.

      The day rehabilitation program is ideal for patients who have identified goals who require a higher intensity of services than can be offered in our ambulatory services, but do not require and inpatient admission.  They will often require three or more allied health disciplines (eg physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, psychology, allied health assistant)  and around 10 to 15 sessions a week. The patients can be post operative, post discharge from inpatient admission or new patients who have gone through our ambulatory clinics. 

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      Ambulatory rehabilitation

      Ambulatory rehabilitation should be considered for clients who reside at home and can physically get into RCH for rehabilitation.  At the interdisciplinary clinics you will meet a rehabilitation specialist or paediatrician.  Some other members of the VPRS interdisciplinary team may also be at the clinic.  Your community clinic therapists may attend with you and your child or contact the RCH interdisciplinary team prior to the appointment

      Rehabilitation also offers ambulatory services for

      • Rehabilitation planning for future surgeries or treatments.  Such as tone management clinic, Combined Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation clinics (COR), Combined Rehab and Plastics Clinic
      • Assessment clinics that can provide advice on treatment and intervention
      • Group programs in areas such as mobility (eg bikes group, running group, wheelchair skills group), social skills, sports and recreation and school transition
      • Self management programs such as behaviour management and chronic fatigue program

      Please see the referral page for information on how to refer