Learning disability community health team

Who can use the service

We support people with a learning disability to manage their health conditions and physical wellbeing.

We do this when their needs cannot be met by general physiotherapy services, even when reasonable adjustments are made.

Reasonable adjustments could include:

  • adapting our communication
  • giving information in more easy-to-understand formats
  • giving the person more time
  • involving family and carers in discussions and care
  • making tasks more meaningful
  • building a positive rapport

How physiotherapy can help

Posture and positioning

The physiotherapy team will complete an assessment and develop a management programme.

This is to help maintain posture and physical functions over a 24-hour period, while reducing complications such as the tightening of tissues, chest infections and pressure sores.

Programmes are tailored specifically for each person and might include:

  • positioning and posture care, including standing, sitting and lying
  • exercise and movement programmes
  • support with appointments for other services such as orthotics (devices to support and align the body) and wheelchair services
  • advice on medicines, including for pain and muscle issues
  • education and training to carers
  • an approximate review date


We help the person to improve and maintain their ability by:

  • completing a mobility assessment
  • developing a home exercise programme
  • assessing and providing walking aids
  • giving advice to family and carers
  • support with appointments for other services such as orthotics, the older person’s assessment unit, mainstream rehabilitation and wheelchair services
  • advice on medicines for pain relief and osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • giving advice on appropriate physical activities in the community


We aim to reduce the risk of falling and can help with recovery. We’ll support the person to use regular falls services. We work very closely with falls services in Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

We might:

  • complete a falls assessment
  • support appointments to falls clinics for medical reviews
  • support access to physiotherapy through a falls service
  • provide a home exercise programme
  • provide training and education to family, carers and those providing support

Coughing and breathing (respiratory management)

We provide community-based respiratory assessment and management of long term conditions. We work closely with the respiratory consultants at the Lane Fox Unit in St Thomas’ Hospital.

We try to reduce chest infections and prevent hospital admissions. We help:

  • improve a person’s cough
  • clear the person’s phlegm (the mucus you cough out)
  • the person to take deep breaths
  • improve the person's fitness

Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

We work with speech and language therapists to help find the best position to improve eating and drinking.

Referrals for physiotherapy

To refer to the physiotherapy service for adults with learning disabilities, please see our referrals page.

After the referral has been made, we’ll contact you to get more information.

The referral will then be opened or placed on the waiting list on a case-by-case basis, depending on your needs.

We'll contact you to make an appointment.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us.


Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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