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Function First

What we do

The Function First Service (also known as the paediatric complex symptom team) is a rehabilitation-orientated service for young people who experience troublesome persistent symptoms in the absence of a physical explanation or whose symptoms are above and beyond what would usually be expected for an existing physical diagnosis.  For example, we see young people who suffer with chronic pain or non-epileptic (psychogenic) seizures.  The team comprises of Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and a Consultant Paediatrician who you may meet during your initial appointment.

The goal of the service is to improve physical functioning and participation. We help young people recover and/or live well with their symptoms. This may include helping them to understand and manage their symptoms using psychoeducation, therapy interventions and other strategies.

The service is not a diagnostic service but rather offers a range of therapeutic support tailored to the needs of the young person and family.

Preparing for your appointment

Before your appointment you will be sent out a service information leaflet as well as some questionnaires, an information form and a consent form. You will need to complete these and bring them to your initial appointment. In your first appointment we will meet you and your family to find out more about your symptoms and how they affect you.  We may ask you questions about how long you have had the symptom/s, how they affect you at home, at school and how they affect your family. You may also be asked about any other health issues you have and any medication you are taking.  You may also need a physical examination so bring suitable clothing with you.

We will ask you about you hobbies and interests, your hopes for the future and what goals you have from being in the service. You will have a chance to ask questions or raise any concerns you may have.

 Further Information

Please see some links to some useful information below:

For further information about the Paediatric Psychological Support Service click here.

For further information on Paediatric Chronic Fatigue (CFS/ME) Syndrome Service click here.


Main Outpatients, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton


Telephone: 01273 696955 ext 62372


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