Paediatric physiotherapists to tackle Yorkshire Three Peaks for specialist equipment for schools

Date published: 12 June 2019

A group of paediatric physiotherapists from Heywood are hoping to raise £15,000 for specialist equipment for disabled children in local special schools.

The Pennine Care Children’s Acute and Ongoing Needs Service staff are hoping that by taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in September, they will raise enough to support children with complex needs with new learning equipment.

The service covers children of all ages and with all conditions in Heywood, Rochdale and Middleton, treating conditions from minor injuries and post-surgery rehabilitation to lifelong management of complex disabilities and medical needs.

Garry Hodgkinson, Rabeea Ahmad, Lisa Haywood, Michelle Bamford, Linsie Delaney, Joanna Simpson, Lindsey Murray and Neil Hinde are hoping the walk will raise enough for an Acheeva specialist ‘learning station’ at each of the local special schools – Springside School in Rochdale, Newlands in Middleton and Redwood Secondary School in Rochdale.

The Acheeva is effectively a medical bed that can be used in schools by multiple children throughout the day, to position them well in a supported and symmetrical way. The risk of postural deformity and pressure sores decreases, and the children benefit from improved digestion and circulation, and change of position. Each bed costs approximately £5-6,000.

Lindsey Murray, one of the paediatric physiotherapists, said: “We know that to reduce the risk of these children developing any further complications or postural deformities they need to lie in a straight and symmetrical posture and have a change of position throughout the day.

“The equipment we are hoping to get will support these children as they grow. As they are, mostly, completely immobile, they have a high risk of developing hip dislocations, spinal curvatures and chest deformities.

“Unfortunately, it's very expensive and funding doesn't stretch very far. In one of our classes, we have 15 children who need supportive positioning but only one specialist learning bed in the whole school.

“We feel that there are a lot of children on our caseloads across the whole borough of Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale that would benefit so much from this equipment and we are willing to put our feet on the line to try and get them it.”

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