Children's Occupational Therapy, St Margaret's Hospital, The Plain, Epping, Essex CM16 6TN 01279 827 440

Welcome to West Essex Children’s Occupational Therapy Service at St Margaret’s Hospital

The Children’s Occupational Therapy service offers a child and family centred approach to support children and young people with their independence in all aspects of daily living, such as self-feeding, dressing and participating in play and school activities. The service is available to children and families across West Essex.

More about us

We work in partnership with parents/carers and other colleagues to promote positive outcomes for children by using a range of approaches that are individually tailored to each child and family. This may include the provision of an activity plan, specialist equipment, treatment sessions or training to parents, carers and school staff.

In West Essex the Occupational Therapists in Health work closely with their colleagues in Essex County Council to provide support for children in their area.

The Children’s Occupational Therapy Service supports children from 0 – 18 years old.

We also support young people aged 18 – 19 years old who have a statement of Educational Need or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who are attending schools in West Essex.

Download OT Referral Form here (pdf 0.14mb) Download Parent / carer OT Referral Form here (pdf 0.17mb)

Please type in your starting point in the box below to give you directions to the service location.

What happens at my child’s appointment?

During the appointment you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s development of functional skills.

The occupational therapist will assess what your child is able to do through observation of play and activities, they might also use a standardised assessment which will help them measure your child’s performance against national age norms, and they will then decide if your child has a need for further OT involvement.

After the initial assessment the occupational therapist may decide to do one or more of the following:

  • provide advice and treatment. Treatment can be an activity programme for home and school practice, individual therapy sessions with the therapist or therapy assistant, or group sessions with other children with similar difficulties and needs
  • support hospital discharge
  • offer advice on adaptations to support your child’s independence or care needs at home and/or in school
  • offer training to parents, carers and Education staff on how best to support your child with functional activities, this advice is usually delivered via workshops and presentations
  • write a report to provide information or access to other services

We offer a flexible service supporting children in the most appropriate environment, whether that is a clinic, at nursery or school or at home.  We work closely with parents, teachers and pre-school staff and all members of the team around the child or young person to achieve this.

If required, the occupational therapist will work through an interpreter should a child or their family have difficulty communicating in English.

Service criteria

Children with functional difficulties in two or more areas of development, and:

  • are registered with a West Essex GP or
  • attending a special needs school in West Essex

More about the service

Health related issues

Children and young people are referred to the service for an assessment of their functional ability from other NHS Health Professionals, such as your GP, Health Visitor or School Nurse.

Your child’s records

Any information held about your child is kept securely in a file or on electronic information systems. We use the information to:

  • Record important health and social care information
  • Help professionals to care for your child
  • Provide appropriate support and care to children, young people and families
  • Develop and improve services and measure how well we are doing

We will only share information about a child/young person with your consent unless required by law or the data is anonymised. However in some circumstances, when we feel that your child or others are at risk, we may share information without consent. More information on how we use health records.

Non-English speakers and other formats

We provide all our leaflets in other languages and formats. Please let us know if you would like a different format or language.

Our commitment to your child

Virgin Care takes your dignity and privacy very seriously and we will at all times respect your confidentiality. Please treat our staff with respect so we can provide you with the very best care we can. Click here to find out more about your rights and responsibilities.

Your opinion really matters to us

Please let us know if you have a comment, a compliment or a complaint by filling out one of our feedback forms or telling a member of the team. Alternatively, if you would like to make an official complaint you can find out more from our How to make a complaint section.

All our Occupational Therapists are registered with the Health Professions Council and work to standards set by Trust, the College of Occupational Therapist and Children, Young People and Families. – UK based charity for children and young people with hemiplegia. – Supporting children, families and adults with dyspraxia. – Cerebral Palsy information and support. – information and support to people with muscular dystrophy. – The professional body for occupational therapists and OT staff in the United Kingdom.

Have you heard of the Local Offer?  If you are a young person with, or have a child with special educational needs and disabilities, (SEND) the Local Offer is Hertfordshire’s central source of information for SEND services and support. Visit for an easily accessible one stop shop.

Find out more

I was treated with great care and understanding. The care I received was second to none; everyone was so lovely.

Sapphire Ward, Gravesham Hospital