Children’s Rapid Response Respiratory Service

The Children’s Rapid Response Respiratory Service launched in February 2019 and provides specialist assessment, treatment and management of children with complex physical disabilities with additional respiratory problems in the community.

The aims of this new service are to:

  • Provide a higher standard of clinical treatment and improved outcomes for children with long term conditions including improved school attendance rates.
  • Reduce hospital admissions, length of stay in hospital, readmissions and the number of A&E attendances.
  • Improve children’s and their families’ experience of using services by building on the existing integrated model to join up care between community services, acute services and palliative care services.
  • Proactively target children at risk of acute respiratory infections early to help keep them healthy and prevent acute infections in the first instance.

There are preventative and rapid response aspects of this service. The preventative service involves specialist respiratory physiotherapy assessment, preventative daily chest management plans and training for families, carers and school staff in chest physiotherapy management strategies.

The rapid response service is to children when they are acutely unwell with a chest infection, which involves home treatment visits, links with GPs and teaching parents and carers how to best manage the child’s condition.

If you would like to refer to the Children’s Rapid Response Respiratory Service phone 01522 309025 or email

This case study is about a girl with spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. She had pneumonia in October 2018 and spent three weeks in hospital. Following this she had multiple courses of antibiotics for multiple chest infections.

Since January 2019, this girl has been seen eight times by the Rapid Response Children’s Respiratory Service to help her parents to manage her chest and provide them with a daily chest care plan – avoiding one hospital admission and saving her from having to access the GP for urgent support on four separate occasions.

The service has identified extra medical equipment that has helped this girl and her family to manage her conditions more effectively.

This girl has not required physiotherapy from the Rapid Response Children’s Respiratory Service after the eight sessions, which shows her chest is now better managed at home.

The girl’s mum said: “Having the service as a first point of call is brilliant. I would say it has saved us at least one visit to the GP surgery recently and potentially a course of unnecessary antibiotics and the difficult side effects they bring. “When my daughter was struggling with her chest, having daily physio home visits was very reassuring, another trip to the GP was saved and I feel without this service she would have ended up in hospital.

“The service is an amazing support to us as a family.”