Hospital therapy pool closure attacked

Miles Jermy A DECISION to close a hydrotherapy pool at James Paget University Hospital has been attacked by the mother of a boy who depends on it.Health bosses revealed this week that the pool, at the NHS Foundation Trust hospital, will shut in two months time.

Miles Jermy

A DECISION to close a hydrotherapy pool at James Paget University Hospital has been attacked by the mother of a boy who depends on it.

Health bosses revealed this week that the pool, at the NHS Foundation Trust hospital, will shut in two months time.

Louise Simnett's 11-year-old son Nathan suffers from juvenile arthritis and has had weekly physiotherapy treatments in the heated pool for the last two years.


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Patients will instead have to use a hydrotherapy pool at John Grant Special School in Caister, which Mrs Simnett, 42, claims is not of a similar standard.

She said: “The hydrotherapy pool at John Grant School is not as deep so will not be suitable for some patients. Nathan will be able to exercise, but not swim there.

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“I am devastated and angry. This is needed not just for Nathan, but all the other people that use the facility.

“Since he was diagnosed with the condition, he has had physiotherapy in the pool which has helped such a lot with his mobility.

“I have been told by the staff it is not cost-effective - but heard nothing officially from the hospital.”

“At the moment Nathan is doing so well, but it only takes one knock to set him all back.”

North Denes school pupil Nathan suffers from arthritis in his legs and has to take daily medication to control pain and swelling.

He wears leg splints at night and uses crutches when the condition is at its most severe.

The hospital's medical director Wendy Slaney said: “The hydrotherapy pool is now around 20 years old and in need of significant modernisation. The pool has a low level of use, being used in total only two days a week.

“We have made arrangements for our physiotherapy staff to continue to provide the hydrotherapy service to our patients at John Grant School and discussed this change with families currently using our service.

“This facility is suitable for the treatment of the range of patients we are currently seeing.

“We understand some providers need a little more time to finalise their alternative arrangements and so we will be keeping the pool open for their use for a further two months.

“Some concerns have been raised with us on our intention to close the pool in the last few days and we will be reviewing this further during this period.”

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