Paediatric Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy aims to enable toddlers and children to meet their full potential through play, specialist and assistive technology.

Occupational Therapy provides assessment and treatment for inpatient and outpatient care as appropriate to each child’s age and abilities.This includes:

  • Motor skills: Postural control, tone management, motor development, planning and organisation.
  • Upper Limb and hand function: Grasp and release, bimanual manipulation, dexterity, and hand-eye co-ordination. 
  • Splinting and casting.
  • Seating and postural management.
  • Wheelchair mobility.
  • Sensory processing.
  • Visual perceptual and cognitive skills related to functional tasks.
  • Self care, School, Play and Leisure activities.
  • Scar management following burn injury: Provision of pressure garments/Silicone treatment/Splints.

The Occupational Therapy Service presently treats children within the Regional Neurology/Neurosurgery/Neurodisability Service, and the Regional Burns and Plastic Surgery Service. Occupational therapists are part of the multidisciplinary teams in these clinical areas.

Coming out of Hospital

Occupational Therapists play a key role in discharge planning from hospital to home. This includes liaising with community services regarding ongoing treatment interventions, home assessments and recommendations for provision of equipment to enhance independence and enable home management.

At the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (Children’s Hospital) we offer specialist advice to support children’s functioning at home or school and communicate with local services as necessary to ensure the continuation of care.

How to access the service:

• Regional Neurology/Neurosciences/Neurodisability Occupational Therapy referrals are accepted from the Neurology, Neurosurgery and Neurodisability Consultants, and other medical professionals’ e.g. nursing staff and other Allied Health professionals.

• Regional Burns and Plastic Surgery Occupational Therapy referrals are accepted from Burns and Plastic Surgery consultants and other medical professionals, e.g. nursing staff and other Allied Health professionals.

Location of the service:

The Occupational Therapy Department is situated in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
028 90635370


Freqently Asked Questions

How long will an out-patient occupational therapy appointment last?
Your appointment will generally last 45 minutes - 1½ hours however this will depend upon the child’s medical status and tolerance to therapeutic input.

Each occupational therapist will be happy to answer any queries you may have regarding assessment and treatment within their clinical area.