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Today (6 March) Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust officially opened the new Child Development Centre based at Crawley Hospital.

The Child Development Centre is where children and young people aged 0 – 19 years, can be seen by community paediatricians, physiotherapists, occupational therapy, audiology and speech and language therapy. The centre is the home of a number of multi-disciplinary teams including Specialist Early Years Practitioners, Administration, Specialist Nursing and Facilities. The new facility will provide a range of health and wellbeing services for children within a safe, self-contained single location.

Siobhan Melia and Giles York cutting the ribbon to open the Crawley Child Development Centre
Siobhan Melia and Giles York cutting the ribbon to open the Crawley Child Development Centre

To celebrate the opening of the centre, we were joined by a number of partners from across Sussex together with families of children and young people who attend the centre. 

Futureproofing the provision of children's services

It's fantastic to have a busy centre, where children and young people can access support from a wide range of services and will help to futureproof the provision of children's services within the area for the years to come. The centre enables us to focus on patient-centred care in an environment which is designed to be friendly and welcoming for children, young people and their families.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive

In attendance at the opening was Buzby Warrington (‘Buzz') together with members of his family.  Buzz is an 8-year-old boy who has been known to the Child Development Services in Crawley since he was a baby. Buzz started visiting the centre at around six months old and has been supported by a number of services including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, Audiology, Ophthalmology and is supported by a Paediatric Consultant. Buzz attended Occupation Therapy group sessions. The centre is an excellent opportunity for Buzz to meet other children with additional needs and is also extremely beneficial for Buzz' parents as they were able to meet other parents of children with additional needs. 

Buzby Warrington at the Crawley Child Development Centre
Buzby Warrington

The centre has made me a much stronger person.

Buzby Warrington

Buzz said: “I really enjoy the centre and like how accessible it is. I love the colours and paintings on the walls and really like all the toys and activities that are here. The centre has made me a much stronger person.”

Buzz’ father, Sean Warrington said: ”The centre has been amazing for Buzz and has made him so much stronger physically. When Buzz gets stronger, we get stronger as a family because we see him progress. The centre is so spacious, the colours are really good and it feels so refreshing to visit.”

Buzz’ mother, Sophie Warrington said: “The support available from the centre has been invaluable. Our Physiotherapist Jenna is absolutely amazing. She is so personable and always tries her hardest to accommodate Buzz and our family.”

Jenna Carter, Childrens Physiotherapist: “Having a larger space for the Child Development Centre will enable us to provide better rehabilitation facilities for the children and young people that we see. To have all services together working alongside one another in one area is hugely beneficial to the team and to all the families that visit the centre.

Child playing in sand
Service user playing in the sand at the new Child Development Centre
Parent holding child
Service users at the Child Development Centre opening day

About the Child Development Centre

The team at the Child Development Centre sees approximately 1200 children a month (including community visits) from Crawley and the surrounding areas. 

The centre has a spacious and well-designed waiting area with in-built features such as a striking tree as a feature piece and cubby holes along the walls. There is a quiet waiting area that is separate to the main area for children who may find larger, noisier spaces more difficult to tolerate.

Other features include:

  • audiology booths
  • therapy rooms equipped with treadmill, static bicycle and a large storage area meaning the space can be kept clear for use. There are also dividing doors which enables the space to be doubled to allow for therapy groups
  • changing area with Hi-Lo changing platform which ensures that there are inclusive hygiene facilities
  • well-equipped office spaces with hotdeskingand facilities which enables collaboration between staff and services on an informal basis

Page last reviewed: 07 March 2024
Next review due: 07 September 2024