Rehabilitation

Paediatric rehabilitation at Monash Children’s Hospital is designed to improve the abilities of children and young people following major injury, illness or medical procedures which affect their function.

Phone: (03) 8572 3054

 To support the Rehabilitation department at
Monash Children’s Hospital:

About us

Rehabilitation 

Paediatric rehabilitation is designed to improve the abilities of children and young people following major injury, illness or medical procedures which affect their function. Paediatric rehabilitation programs aim to maximise the ability of the child to participate in activities at home, school and the community. Families and caregivers play a key role in the rehabilitation program. An individualised program is designed to achieve specific goals in areas such as mobility, self care and communication.

Suitability for rehabilitation is assessed on an individual basis. Services are offered until young people have completed secondary schooling and includes transition to adult based services when appropriate. The Rehabilitation Service at Monash Children’s Hospital is part of the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service.

About us 

The Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (VPRS) caters for children and adolescents who require specialist interdisciplinary rehabilitation. This rehabilitation may be as an inpatient at Monash Children’s Hospital, The Royal Children’s Hospital or within the community at all sites.

VPRS aims to provide all Victorian children who require specialist rehabilitation the ability to access the services that they need, when they need it and in the most appropriate location, no matter where the family lives.

Visit our website:  www.vprs.org.au

Mission statement 

To provide a state-wide specialist paediatric rehabilitation service which specifically caters for children, young people and their families and offers therapy and medical-based interventions which optimise function and maximise participation in all settings.

Vision 

To produce excellence in clinical care, research and education in paediatric rehabilitation.

Goals 

  •  To provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary rehabilitation program in the context of the child’s/young person’s developmental needs
  •  To work in partnership with families and communities to produce the best possible outcome for each child
  •  To work in partnership with schools to maximise educational opportunities for each child
  •  To contribute to the expertise of community service providers in paediatric rehabilitation through education, training and support
  •  To develop and support a culture of professional excellence within the rehabilitation team through participation in continuing education, mentoring and ongoing evaluation of service provision
  •  To strengthen the evidence basis for paediatric rehabilitation through an active research program
  •  To ensure quality and safety of services through a process of ongoing evaluation

Values 

  •  We respect the unique needs of each child, their family and community
  •  We value the family as members of the rehabilitation team for their child
  •  We value the contribution of others to the delivery of rehabilitation care
  •  We will act at all times with integrity and demonstrate professionalism
Expertise and services

The team is headed by Associate Professor Barry Rawicki and consists of:

  • Doctors
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Speech pathologists
  • Psychologists
  • Educational advisors
  • Social workers
  • Podiatry
  • Dietetics
  • Play and music therapists
  • Nurses
  • Gait laboratory

Inpatient Services

Consultation-liaison

This service is offered to other departments and wards across Monash Children’s Hospital to provide advice and assistance in determining which children and young people 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 patient, or through community-based services.

Direct care

Some children and young people need further time in hospital after acute care to focus on developing functional skills such as sitting and/or walking, communicating and self care, before they can return home. Once under the care of the rehabilitation team, the child and their family meet with the 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 a rehabilitation clinic to review their progress and plan further services and programs as required. Often a paediatrician will also follow-up with the patient and family.

Ambulatory Rehabilitation Services

Ambulatory rehabilitation programs are developed for children and young people who do not require overnight hospital care and who can safely be cared for at home.
Children and young people may benefit from ambulatory rehabilitation services delivered in a variety of settings including:

  • Home
  • School
  • Childcare
  • Local community
  • Hospital
  • Community health centre

The rehabilitation program involves a timetable of therapy appointments on specified day(s) of each week. Where possible, day rehabilitation services are co-located and children and families work with several rehabilitation professionals on each day. The location of services and the intensity of the program depend upon the rehabilitation goals, anticipated rate of change and availability of services.

Day rehabilitation may involve shared-care between services in the local community and the Paediatric Rehabilitation Service at Monash Children’s Hospital. Regular meetings are held with the rehabilitation team, families, schools and community agencies to communicate rehabilitation needs and progress. Goals are regularly reviewed and the rehabilitation plan updated accordingly.

Following completion of an Ambulatory Rehabilitation program, children and young people are reviewed in an outpatient clinic.

Outreach 

This is an evolving service provided by the Rehabilitation Service at Monash Children’s Hospital to regional Victoria, which aims to:

  • assist therapists in regional areas to further develop expertise in treating children with ABIs
  • assist in transition from hospital to community based rehabilitation
  • provide an opportunity for children, families and service providers to access specialist assessment services in their own community
  • provide education for children, families and service providers related to all areas of paediatric rehabilitation

For more information regarding this program, please contact the rehabilitation team.

Clinics

Ambulatory clinics 


Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic

This clinic caters for children and young people who have sustained an acquired brain injury, such as a result of a fall, motor vehicle accident, stroke or infection, and who have ongoing difficulties with functioning and require the assistance of a rehabilitation team. Examples include problems with walking or posture, cognitive skills, communication, self-care and manual (hand) skills.

Each patient is initially seen by a Rehabilitation specialist or paediatrician and by allied health clinicians. Clinicians from the community who work with the child and family are invited to attend this clinic. The rehabilitation team and the family identify what are the child’s/young person’s functional limitations and then devise or modify the rehabilitation plan.

Who can be referred to this clinic?
Any child or young person who has sustained an acquired brain injury and who has ongoing difficulties with functional skills.

When is the clinic held?
The clinic is held every Monday fortnight in the morning.

How to refer?
Please see the referral section below for more information.


Physical Rehabilitation Clinic

This clinic focuses on the physical needs of children and young people who have developmentally based or acquired conditions affecting their mobility and upper limb skills. Diagnostic groups include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and disorders, and any other condition where movement skills are affected.

Each patient is seen by a Rehabilitation specialist or paediatrician, as well as physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Input from community-based therapists who work with the child and family is essential. Treatment options may be discussed and offered to the family in order to improve the child’s motor skills. These may include Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs, splints to stretch muscles and joints, or medicines to treat muscle stiffness (such as Botulinum Toxin).

Clinicians in this clinic work very closely with Orthopaedic Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, and other paediatricians at Monash Children’s Hospital, who may be involved in the child’s care.

Who can be referred to this clinic?
Any child or young person who has a physical-based condition such as cerebral palsy, and who has difficulties with motor skills.

When is the clinic held?
The clinic is held every Tuesday afternoon.

How to refer?
Please see the referral section below for more information.


Chronic Fatigue Clinic

The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Clinic focuses on young people who have been diagnosed with or have symptoms of CFS. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is characterized by a profound fatigue that impacts on many aspects of a young person’s life including their physical and psychosocial well being and their ability to participate in many activities for example, education, sport and social activities.

Each patient is seen by a Paediatric Rehabilitation specialist and allied health clinicians, and input from any community therapists is very welcome.

Who can be referred to this clinic?
Any child or young person who has a diagnosis or symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When is the clinic held?
The clinic is held every Tuesday mid-morning.

How to refer?
Please see the referral section below for more information.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Program

The Victorian Paediatric rehabilitation Service at Monash Children’s Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital both offer a number of CFS Programs either as an inpatient or a Day patient for young people who have attended the CFS clinic.

The course is a goal directed inter-disciplinary program that aims to teach participants strategies to assist with self-management of their CFS, while gradually increasing activity and function in daily routines.

Referrals

Region 

Southern Metropolitan area of Melbourne

Contact 

Phone: (03) 8572 3054
Fax: (03) 8572 3817

Location

Monash Children’s Hospital
246 Clayton Road
Clayton, 3168

Regional Coordinator

Fiona Wilkinson

Head of Unit 

Associate Professor Barry Rawicki

Medical Specialists

Associate Professor Barry Rawicki, Dr Sabine Hennel, Dr Christine Olesch, Dr Michael Fahey

Inpatient referrals

Referrals can be made to the Paediatric Rehabilitation Registrar on pg. 4487 or to the regional co-ordinator on pager 3622 via switchboard on (03) 9594 6666.

Alternatively the consultant on call can be contacted via switchboard.

Ambulatory referrals

We request that referrals are made by a doctor. On referral, please provide information about family contact details, child’s diagnosis and previous investigations, team of health professionals involved (such as doctors and therapists), and the purpose of referral/goals of treatment.

Please call our regional coordinator if you have any questions on (03) 8572 3763.

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