Fears grow as physio service faces big cuts

PARENTS of children with disabilities have said they are “devastated” by cuts which could be made to a community physiotherapy service.

The Worthing Child Development Centre, which provides a community physiotherapist service, is rumoured to be facing cuts of 50 per cent in June.

Laura Moore’s son William, two, has been having physio through the service since he was three-months-old.

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She said: “It’s sad enough William has to suffer his condition, let alone fight to get a physio service which isn’t good enough at the moment, and will be terrible if the cuts we’ve been told about are made.”

William has cerebral palsy, which affects all four limbs, and a severe motor disorder.

Laura, 34, of Ashurst Close, Goring, added: “William has physio at home every three months. The physiotherapist is fantastic, she tries to get him to sit straight and encourages him to use his hands – with her help there is hope that one day he will improve, If the service is cut, that hope is stolen from him.”

Abi Van den Dyck’s son Matthew has vital physiotherapy treatment every two to three weeks. Matthew, who cannot sit or crawl, suffers from global development delay and has not yet had a diagnosis for his condition.

“I’m absolutely outraged,” she said. “Has anyone thought about what changing the service will mean for the children and families currently seen? The children aren’t seen on a regular enough basis as it is and with a cut of up to 50 per cent you may as well not offer a service any more.”

Abi, of The Saltings, Littlehampton, added: “Children with disabilities need regular physiotherapy and there are major consequences to a child if they don’t get the treatment.

“My son has a fantastic physiotherapist. She has always been there for him right from the start and he has made such tremendous progress with her.

“Who is going to push for the right equipment for him now to ensure he reaches his full potential, and how regularly is he going to get physio sessions now?”

A spokesman for Worthing Hospital said staff employed by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust currently provide the physiotherapy service on behalf of Sussex Community NHS Trust.

Nick Fairclough, spokesman for Sussex Community NHS Trust, said: “We are about to change this management arr-angement and run it ourselves.

“We can reassure parents that this will not result in any immediate change in the level of service we provide, but as we move forward we will have to review the service to ensure we can continue to deliver the right level and quality from the resources we are given.

“We will be talking to the staff and service users about their current concerns, and will involve them as we review the service in the future.”