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Chailey Clinical Services

Chailey Clinical Services (CCS) supports and enables children and young people with complex neurodisability in a safe, nurturing environment; promoting good health and optimising function and quality of life. Our focus is for children and young adults to be secure and comfortable, and to promote independence, enabling them to be active in their wider community. 

The Chailey Charter is the foundation of our mission to ensure every child or young person in our care has the right to be treated as an individual, to be listened to and heard, to be safe, to be as fit and healthy as possible, to be encouraged to feel good about themselves, and to be encouraged to develop to their full potential.

We provide clinical support to children and young people in their home or place of residence, in mainstream and special schools, in our specialist outpatients’ clinics, and in our Short Breaks services.

Our Services

Chailey Clinical Services delivers needs-led, bespoke therapeutic and medical care for children and young people with diverse and often fluctuating conditions related to their complex disability. Our multi-disciplinary team (MDT) includes nurses, occupational therapists, paediatricians, physiotherapists, psychologists, rehabilitation engineers, speech and language therapists, healthcare assistants, clinical scientists, pharmacists, and a dietitian.

Through their expertise, our specialist teams assess children and young peoples’ core needs, formulating a care plan designed to enrich their lives and help them maximise their potential and their participation in society.

We offer six highly specialised, community-based services for children and young people across Sussex, south east England and the UK. These services are:

  • Clinical support to Chailey Heritage Foundation pupils and residents
    Supported by the full multidisciplinary team.
  • Bluebells and short breaks
    A nursing-led service supported by skilled health care staff.
  • Outpatients clinics
    Led by our medical teams, therapists, clinical scientists, and rehabilitation engineers.
  • Rehabilitation engineering services
    A collaboration of clinical scientists, rehabilitation engineers, and therapists.
  • Communication Aid services
    A collaboration of clinical scientists, rehabilitation engineers, and therapists.
  • Rehabilitation and transition services
    A collaboration of clinical psychologists, therapists, health care workers and Doctors.

Watch this video for an insight into some of the work we do at Chailey Clinical Services (CCS).



Rehabilitation Engineering Service

The Rehabilitation Engineering Service (RES) at Chailey Clinical Services provide engineering solutions to enable children and young people with complex neurodisability undertake activities with increased independence and safety.

RES work as part of our multi-disciplinary team alongside therapists providing innovative assistive technology where commercially available equipment does not meet our service users' needs.

Our expert Rehabilitation Engineers design and manufacture custom-made medical devices and assistive equipment using specialist facilities at our on-site mechanical engineering workshop.

Chailey Communication Aid Service

Our Chailey Communication Aid Service (CCAS) provide high-tech communication aids for spoken communication for children and adults with complex needs. We use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods which supplement speech.

Chailey Communication Aid Service is an NHS England-funded multi-disciplinary service covering Sussex and Surrey which has been running since 2015.

Both the Rehabilitation Engineering Service (RES) and the Chailey Communication Aid Service (CCAS) are led by a consultant clinical scientist and are registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the manufacture of class 1 and custom-made medical devices.

Chailey Rehabilitation and Transition Service

The Chailey Rehabilitation and Transition Service (CRTS) provide post-acute assessment and intensive rehabilitation for children and young people with complex neurodisability. The on-site service has provision for inpatient stays as well as clinic rooms suitable for outpatient therapy.

CRTS offers timely, intensive care packages following life-changing events including inpatient neuro-rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation and acquired brain injury assessment clinics.

Our multi-disciplinary CRTS team includes medical, nursing, therapy, neuropsychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and dietetic professionals. The team work closely with children and young people and their families to enable effective rehabilitation and transition back into the community.

Clinical Support to Chailey Heritage Foundation

Chailey Clinical Services provides clinical support to Chailey Heritage Foundation (CHF) – a charity that provides education and care services for children and young people with complex neurodisabilities. The charity runs Chailey Heritage School, Chailey Heritage Residential, Chailey Heritage Futures, and Chailey Heritage Pathways.

At Chailey Clinical Services, we offer flexible specialist services for children and young people who attend Chailey Heritage School and the other services run by the Foundation, enabling them to live the life they choose. This includes holistic and emergency care for pupils, assessment and provision of specialised equipment, and training and support for staff. We also offer transition plans to assess the needs of young people aged eighteen and over who are moving from Chailey Heritage School and residences to Chailey Heritage Futures and Pathways.

Nursing team

Our 24-hour nursing team at Chailey Clinical Services is crucial to the provision of safe and effective care. The team is comprised of registered nurses with a range of specialist skills and knowledge in children's nursing, adult mental health and learning disability.

In addition to round the clock response to fluctuating health needs, the nursing team provide holistic assessment, bespoke clinical care plans, emergency and contingency plans, early intervention, referrals, activities risk management, medications management, and act as key workers for families. Skilled health care workers support the nursing team through the provision of delegated duties.

Medical Team

Our team of neurodisability consultants, associate specialists and clinical psychologists undertake a number of multi-disciplinary outpatient clinics. Doctors also provide medical oversight for the pupils and residents of Chailey Heritage Foundation in relation to their complex neurodisability; including clinical assessment and annual health reviews, seizure and pain management, movement and posture intervention, and support to manage clinical emergencies. The medical team also provide on-call advice to the nursing team out of hours.

Within the medical team, there is a highly specialist neuropsychology team, made up of a paediatric neuropsychologist, clinical psychologists, trainee psychologists and assistants on placement. They provide detailed assessments of cognition, mood and behaviour, in the context of acquired and congenital brain injuries. The team support both Chailey Heritage Foundation and our Chailey Rehabilitation and Transition Service, as well as running a regular dedicated neuropsychology outpatient clinic.

Allied Health Professional Teams

Our team of allied health professionals (AHPs) include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and a dietitian. These specialist professionals undertake work in multi-disciplinary outpatient clinics at Chailey Clinical Services. AHPs also provide therapeutic input to children and young people attending Chailey Heritage Foundation School and residential care. We work together with teaching staff, care staff and other health professionals to provide integrated child-centred care.

A summary of how these teams support our work:

  • Occupational Therapy Service promotes maximum independence and self-care, functional ability and health and well-being.
  • Physiotherapy Service promotes maximum physical functional ability, independence and health and well-being.
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service promotes maximum communication potential, safe eating and drinking, independence and health and well-being.
  • The dietitian oversees the nutrition and hydration needs of children and young people with complex neurodisability at Chailey Clinical Services, to promote growth, health and well-being.

Outpatient Services

Chailey Clinical Services provide a range of specialist outpatient clinics which are an essential element of the holistic support we offer.

The majority of the clinics are multi-disciplinary and consist of half-day or full-day sessions. Some can involve up to week-long intensive multi-disciplinary team support with daily living activities. Clinics are led by our own specialist teams of clinicians, in addition to those led by visiting consultants, podiatrists and an ophthalmologist. Our clinics include equipment, movement, surgical, therapeutic and rehabilitative provision, as well as X-ray and orthotic services on-site.

For further details see our clinic profiles:

Our Research

At Chailey Clinical Services, we have been conducting research into paediatric neurodisability for over twenty years. Our research underpins our problem-solving, needs-led approach to supporting children and young people to reach their potential. We have a strong track record in leading and participating in clinical research nationwide and Europe-wide to define good healthcare for children with complex neurodisability.

We are leaders in the fields of posture management, powered mobility learning, eating, drinking and swallowing, motor skills, assistive technology, sleep, and consulting with children, young adults and their families.

Find out about research at Chailey Clinical Services, including ‘Breathe-Easy’. This study explores the experiences of children with complex neurodisability and their families with the use of postural management for respiratory positioning at night-time.

Our Training

Building on our expertise and research excellence, we provide specialist training which has been developed from the clinical experience of the team and from research carried out by individuals and teams at Chailey Clinical Services.

We provide in-house training to CCS staff and teams across Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust to expand knowledge and skills in working with children and young people with complex neurodisabilities.

Our team teach on undergraduate and postgraduate University courses, as well as provide active professional support for nurses, clinical scientists, medical students, and the Allied Health Professions (AHP).

In addition, our medical team provide training to parents to support them with their child’s complex disability.

Work with us

Chailey Clinical Services staff work in partnership across multiple disciplines and between our diverse range of services. Our staff often work flexibly between services to share knowledge and skills, and to bolster resilience which helps deliver the best outcomes for the children and young people we support. We offer a comprehensive induction process and support all staff with their professional development training needs.

“Overall I have found the induction process smooth and valuable. I was very impressed by my local induction. The team have been amazing; so welcoming, patient and helpful. I found the local induction pack a really helpful guide too.”

- Fabienne André, Physiotherapy Assistant at Chailey Clinical Services

If you are interested in working with us, please see NHS Jobs for current vacancies and find out more about working with us.

Recruitment webinar

If you are a qualified nurse or health care assistant, join us at a one-hour webinar on Thursday 4 November 2021 to find out more about what it’s like to work at Chailey Clinical Services.

Book your place for the 12-1pm webinar via Eventbrite.

Book your place for the 7-8pm webinar via Eventbrite.